Bracewell & Giuliani

Powered by the attorneys of Bracewell & Giuliani, Energy Legal Blog® is your resource for updates and analysis on national and global energy issues.
  1. FERC Issues 2015 Report On Enforcement

    Tuesday, November 24, 2015 5:00 pm by and

    On November 19, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) released its annual report on enforcement activities for fiscal year 2015.  The report highlights FERC’s continued focus on incidents involving fraud, market manipulation, and other anticompetitive conduct in the markets subject to its jurisdiction.  It also highlights the types of activities and conduct that have been subject to FERC scrutiny over the past year and provides informal guidance that jurisdictional entities should consider when evaluating their own conduct and compliance programs. (more…)

  2. Recent Drone Developments and a Look Ahead to 2016

    Friday, November 13, 2015 3:56 pm by

    The 2012 Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act called for the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) to institute a program to facilitate the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) into the National Airspace System (“NAS”) by September 30, 2015. While the legislatively imposed deadline passed with no regulatory program in place – and such a program is unlikely to be finalized until at least mid-2016 – 2015 has been a year for significant developments in UAS integration. FAA’s approvals under the Section 333 exemption process have skyrocketed, drafting of the final small UAS rule is wrapping up, the FAA recently proposed the largest penalty ever for the unauthorized operation of a UAS and announced the creation of a UAS Registration Task Force. (more…)

  3. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: October 2015

    2:11 pm by , , and

    October’s Highlight

    October saw the first criminal conviction pursuant to Section 4c(a) for spoofing.  A jury concluded that for approximately three months, an individual used a computer algorithm to place orders he did not intend to execute for the purpose of giving the impression that there was significant interest in orders he placed on the other side of the market.  The individual and his trading company had already settled allegations of spoofing with multiple CME Group exchanges (CBOT, CEI, CME, and NYMEX) as well as the CFTC in 2013.  The CFTC settlement required both to pay a $1.4 million civil penalty and disgorge $1.4 million in trading profits, and included a ban from trading on any CFTC-registered entity for one year.  Further, the indivdiual also was ordered to pay the CME exchanges a combined $200,000 fine and $1.3 million in disgorgement, in addition to exchange-specific trading bans. (more…)

  4. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: September 2015

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015 8:00 am by , , and

    September’s Highlight

    September saw a handful of settlements of ICE Futures enforcement actions related to position limit violations under Rule 6.20(b).  The settlements of these actions included monetary fines, disgorgement of profits, and cease and desist orders.  Of note, an action related to a single, self-reported violation of the applicable spot month position limit under Rule 6.20(b) resulted in a $35,000 fine and a cease and desist order.  These settlements serve as reminders that position limits are tracked intra-day and to the single lot, and exceeding a position limit is a per se violation absent an exemption. (more…)

  5. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: July 2015

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015 10:18 am by , , and

    July’s Highlight

    Exchange for related positions (“EFRPs”) involve an off-Exchange execution of an Exchange contract and, on the opposite side of the market, the simultaneous execution of an equivalent quantity of the corresponding cash or physical position (Exchange for Physical- “EFP”); corresponding related OTC swap or OTC derivative (Exchange for Swap- “EFS”); corresponding futures contract (Exchange for Risk- “EFR”); or the corresponding related OTC option position (Exchange of Options for Options- “EOO”). EFRPs can be great trading tools, offering users the ability to engage in private negotiations as a means of reducing overall risk exposure. However, when engaging in EFRPs it is important to understand and comply with the rules and regulations governing these unique transactions. (more…)

  6. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: June 2015

    Thursday, July 2, 2015 10:12 am by , , and

    This report summarizes material notices from CME Group and ICE Futures, with a particular focus on energy. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of each and every notice issued by these Exchanges.

    June Highlight

    CME Group has released a Webinar on Block Trades summarizing the regulatory requirements in relation to block trades in eligible CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX products, including minimum block thresholds, pricing, reporting, and important requirements around the use of non-public information.

    Block trades – large, privately negotiated trades that meet minimum quantity requirements – can be traded by ECPs. Pricing must be fair and reasonable, as governed by four factors: the size of the trade; the prices and sizes of other transactions at the time; prices and sizes of other transactions in other markets; and the circumstances of the markets or parties. The trade price must be consistent with the minimum tick price for the market, and each leg/transaction must be executed at a single price.  (more…)

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