FERC Thursday granted Dallas-based transporter Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) an additional month to respond to a show-cause order, which accuses the company of manipulating the price of physical natural gas transactions.

On July 31, five days after the show-cause order was issued, ETP sought an extension until Sept. 25 to respond to the charges. The company’s request “states that additional time is needed for the preparation of a responsive filing due to the length and complexity of the order to show cause and so that ETP may respond to similar charges asserted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on the same day,” the FERC notice said [IN06-3].

Among other charges, ETP is alleged to have manipulated wholesale natural gas markets at the Houston Ship Channel and the Waha, TX, trading hubs on various dates from December 2003 through December 2005 (see Daily GPI, July 27). FERC said it was tipped off to ETP’s alleged activities by a competitor in October 2005.

The company faces $167 million in penalties and disgorgement of unjust profits.

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