Regulatory Analysis & Consulting

Kent Group Ltd has extensive experience in working with both regulators and interveners to provide researched data, expert analysis and opinions, and direct testimony in petroleum-related regulatory matters. Our experience includes reviews of regulatory interventions in petroleum markets or marketing structures, and reviews a number of provincial regulatory pricing formulas.

Project Portfolio

Price Regulatory Analysis/Critique

  • The State of Hawaii’s Division of Consumer Advocacy engaged us to assist in the pre-implementation phase of Hawaii’s price regulation statutes. This involved a detailed review of the statutes and intervener submissions, as well as assistance in preparing their own submission to the state regulator.
  • The Energy Regulation Board in Zambia sought our assistance in the development of a Uniform Petroleum Pricing Model (UPP), with the purpose of mitigating high petroleum prices in rural areas.  We later worked with the ERB to update the UPP model to reflect infrastructural changes in the industry.
  • The New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) engaged us to conduct a review of New Brunswick’s regulated petroleum margins and costs under the Petroleum Products Pricing Act (PPPA).   Our report incorporated submissions from relevant stakeholders in the retail petroleum industry to address maximum retailer margins, delivery costs and full service charges, and formed the basis for the Board’s decision regarding regulated margin adjustments.
  • The New Brunswick Department of Energy hired us to conduct a critical assessment and review of proposed changes to the price formula values used by the EUB in the setting of its maximum fuel price values. This review, which included a subsequent appearance at Board hearings on this matter, established critical weaknesses in the original consultant’s analysis and recommendations, resulting in the Board’s rejection of those proposals.
  • A variety of stakeholders have sought our expertise to better understand and navigate the issues, merits, and drawbacks of a range of regulatory options pertaining to petroleum marketing and pricing.
  • A number of industry associations have requested our expert opinion on proposed mandates for alternative fuels, and its possible effect on petroleum markets and prices.
  • The New Brunswick Department of Energy and Mines hired us to provide a comprehensive review of the province’s Petroleum Products Pricing Act. By means of feedback from relevant industry stakeholders, the public, and our own research, we were able to provide recommendations for changes to the Act.
  • The New Brunswick Department of Energy and Mines requested that we conduct a review of province’s furnace oil prices relative to other Atlantic provinces. This report assessed changes to the PPPA in 2014, and clearly laid out the reasons for price variances in the region’s regulatory jurisdictions.

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and Price Regulatory Impacts

The New Brunswick Department of Energy hired us to assess the impact of RFS implementation on the petroleum products pricing regulations in the province. Our report evaluated the need for modifications to the province’s existing regulatory framework in terms of the validity (in satisfying the aim of the Petroleum Products Pricing Act) and viability (in ability to administer, enforce and comply) of the potential regulatory options. Included in this project’s Scope of Work was a survey of petroleum industry participants seeking their approach towards RFS implementation, and an analysis of the market drivers that might result in conventional versus ethanol-blended prices/markets to behave differently.

RFS Implementation Study

The New Brunswick Department of Energy engaged us to review the potential RFS implementation issues faced by New Brunswick and other Atlantic Provinces. Our final report detailed industry perspectives that enabled New Brunswick to state its concerns and recommendations to Environment Canada in advance of the release of draft regulations.

Assessment of Refiner Interest in Producing Renewable Alternatives to Gasoline, Diesel, and Jet Fuel

The Government of Canada engaged us to assess the perspectives of the downstream petroleum industry regarding their strategy for investments in renewable fuels production. Our approach included interviews/questionnaires with petroleum producers, research into the current status of refiners’ participation in the biofuels industry, an overview of the current policy environment, and a detailed analysis of current opportunities – providing an outlook for future participation in the production of renewables.