Skip to Main Content

Mr. Michael Tolleth specializes in the financial analysis of energy markets, with a dual emphasis on the cost of capital and regulatory economics in the oil and natural gas industries.

His experience includes cost of service, rate design, market-based rates analysis, and damages calculation for oil and natural gas pipelines. He has assisted clients with issues related to competition and commercial damages in the downstream petroleum product marketing sector, and with financial analysis of upstream oil and gas production operations. Mr. Tolleth’s work involves financial modeling of energy assets for regulatory, valuation, and policy evaluation purposes, as well as application of asset pricing theory to energy derivatives markets. He also has extensive experience estimating the cost of capital for regulated companies in the utilities, pipeline, and railroad industries, as well as for valuation applications.

Mr. Tolleth has prior professional experience in the fields of STEM education and curriculum publishing that informs his ability to frame problems conceptually and explain complex analyses effectively to diverse audiences. He also completed a finance internship at Exelon Corporation, where he analyzed equity valuation methodologies for competitive integrated electric utility companies.

Mr. Tolleth earned an M.B.A. with High Honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His degree concentrations were in finance, economics, and statistics and econometrics. He also holds a B.S. magna cum laude in Chemical Physics from the University of California at San Diego.

Representative Engagements
Analysis of pipeline discretionary pricing
In a proceeding before the National Energy Board (NEB), assisted in the development of testimony supporting TransCanada Pipeline Company’s discretionary pricing of short term and interruptible natural gas transportation services. The analysis demonstrated adequate competition from primary and market alternatives as well as a lack of statistical support for the claim that spikes gas prices during the “polar vortex” winder of 2013-14 were causally related to TransCanada’s pricing.
Cost of capital for Australian coal rail network
In an open access application before the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA), analyzed the statistical properties of equity beta estimates and evaluated relevant business risk comparability characteristics to determine the appropriate weighted average cost of capital (WACC) for a coal rail network.
Deferred capital cost recovery for a regulated power plant
In a proceeding before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA), assisted in developing a proposal for deferred recovery of capital costs associated with a newly built combined cycle natural gas power plant, whose addition to the electric utility’s rate base would otherwise result in a sudden and substantial rate increase.
FERC oil pipeline policy and rulemaking
In rulemaking and policy determination proceedings before the FERC, provided and supported testimony on behalf of refiners, marketers, and end-users of petroleum products on issue of regulatory policy for oil pipelines, including the methodology for calculating indexed rate increases, cost of service reporting requirements, and income tax ratemaking treatment for tax pass-through entities.
Pipeline market based rates
In support of testimony evaluating evidence of market power for crude oil and petroleum products pipelines, estimated the pipelines’ long run marginal cost (LRMC) as a proxy for the rates that would prevail in a competitive market.
Testimony
Before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, sworn Affidavit on behalf of Airlines for America, the National Propane Gas Association, and Valero Marketing and Supply Company, Revisions to Indexing Policies and Page 700 of FERC Form No. 6, Docket No. RM17-1-000, January 2017.
January 2017
Before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, sworn Affidavit on behalf of Airlines for America, the National Propane Gas Association, and Valero Marketing and Supply Company, Petition for Rulemaking, Docket No. RM15-19-000, September 2015.
September 2015
Publications
Report
Analysis of Initial Comments Regarding Commission's Income Tax Allowance Policy for Partnership Pipelines
November 30, 2017
Submitted on behalf of United Airlines Petitioners and Aligned Shippers, in FERC Docket No. PL17-1-000
Report
Aurizon Network 2016 Access Undertaking: Aspects of the WACC
November 30, 2016
Prepared for Aurizon Network for submission to the Queensland Competition Authority
Presentation
Natural Gas Pipeline FERC ROE
March 2016
Presented at the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Rate of Return Seminar
Report
Understanding Crude Oil and Product Markets
September 2014
Published by the American Petroleum Institute
Presentation
Paying for Pipelines
September 09, 2013
Presented at Law Seminars International’s (LSI) Energy in the Northeast Conference
News & Events
November 30, 2017
Brattle Economists Contribute to DC Circuit Court Ruling Regarding Oil Pipeline Index Rate Formula

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals (Court) recently denied a petition for review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) methodology for determining the oil pipeline index rate formula for 2016 to 2021.

August 25, 2017
Brattle Announces Senior Associate Promotions

The Brattle Group is pleased to announce the promotions of Lucia Bazzucchi, Francesca Mazzarella, Akarsh Sheilendranath, Mike Tolleth, and John Tsoukalis to Senior Associate.

September 02, 2014
Brattle Consultants Prepare Two Reports for the American Petroleum Institute on Natural Gas and Crude Oil Markets

Brattle consultants have authored two separate reports for the American Petroleum Institute (API) that provide a comprehensive overview of the natural gas and crude oil and product markets.