Wednesday, February 26, 2014 2:14 pm by David Perlman, Jennifer Lias and Robert E. Pease
On July 16, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order finding Barclays Bank PLC (“Barclays”), Daniel Brin, Scott Connelly, Karen Levine, and Ryan Smith (together with Barclays, “Defendants”) in violation of FERC’s anti-manipulation regulations and assessed significant penalties. The Defendants chose to have the validity of the order tried de novo in federal district court, and on December 16, 2013, filed a Motion to Dismiss the FERC action. On February 14, 2014, FERC filed an Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss previously filed by the Defendants.
This case represents the first time a FERC electric market manipulation claim is being adjudicated in a federal district court. The court’s ruling could have significant implications for FERC’s jurisdiction in a manipulation action that involves financial transactions and its authority with regard to wholesale power markets. (more…)
Category: Courts, Electric, FERC, Organized Markets, Power, Uncategorized
Monday, February 24, 2014 9:12 am by Darren Spalding and Laura Fox
The energy of the future could lie buried deep underneath the world’s oceans and the Arctic permafrost. Methane hydrates, also known as “flammable ice,” are vast reservoirs of natural gas trapped in ice-like crystals and hold out the potential to alter trade flows and reshape the geopolitics of energy.
As the name suggests, methane hydrates consist of a methane molecule surrounded by a cage of interlocking water molecules. It is effectively an ice that occurs naturally in subsurface deposits in freezing temperature and high pressure conditions. When melted or exposed to pressures and temperatures outside those where the ice is stable, the solid crystalline lattice turns into liquid water, and the enclosed methane molecules are released as gas. (more…)
Category: Shale Development, Upstream Energy
Friday, February 21, 2014 2:09 pm by Scott Muehlberger
The fracking revolution marches on as more and more oil and natural gas is extracted from the continental U.S. and delivered to market. In a development almost no one predicted even several years ago aggregate production of oil and gas within the United States is tops in the world, outpacing both Russia and Saudi Arabia. Long-lead time construction of midstream and processing facilities are now struggling to keep up with the surge in production, but pipeline, rail and processing capacity provided by the private sector continues to come online. Given time and capital midstream capacity is expected to catch up in the next few years and provide support to a sustained drilling boom in America. (more…)
Category: Shale Development, Upstream Energy
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:32 pm by David Perlman and Kaleb Lockwood
As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight recently reminded market participants in a Staff Advisory, entities that meet the definition of a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) are subject to various regulatory requirements and may be required to register as a CTA with the National Futures Association (“NFA”). The Staff Advisory is an indication that the CFTC is turning to compliance with its regulatory and registration requirements now that the rulemaking process of the Dodd-Frank Act is finishing. Given this transition, as well as the recently expanded scope of the CFTC’s regulatory oversight over CTAs and commodity pool operators (“CPOs”), entities that advise others or are pooled investment vehicles for futures, options, or swaps should consider whether they might be subject to the CFTC’s CTA and CPO regulatory requirements. (more…)
Category: CFTC, Enforcement
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:55 am by Rachael Marsh
In a historic move, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the first time on Friday, February 7, exercised its emergency authority under Section 1(15) of the Interstate Commerce Act. Using that authority, FERC directed Enterprise TE Products Pipeline Company LLC (TEPPCO) to provide priority to shipments of propane to help address propane shortages in the Midwest and Northeast. FERC extended its emergency order on Tuesday, February 11. In doing so, FERC resolved issues raised in an emergency request filed by the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), which requested that propane shipments get priority over other products shipped by TEPPCO.
On Thursday, February 6, NPGA asked FERC to use its emergency powers to permit or direct TEPPCO to temporarily provide up to 75,000 bbls/day of capacity to propane shipments on a priority basis, through at least the first week in March, in light of current propane supply shortages. (more…)
Category: FERC, Natural Gas/LNG
Friday, February 7, 2014 12:34 pm by Sandra Snyder, Richard Alonso and Tim Wilkins
On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, EPA issued a pre-publication copy of a proposed rule that if adopted would transfer greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting in Texas from EPA Region 6 to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The proposed rule has yet to be published in the Federal Register. When it is published, the public will have 30 days to comment on the proposed rule. EPA must review and respond to those comments before it can adopt a final rule that would transfer authority to TCEQ. (more…)
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Enforcement, Environmental, Natural Gas/LNG, Power, Regional Energy Law