Accused

Trial of El Paso Traders Gets Under Way in Houston

Opening statements were heard in U.S. District Court in Houston Wednesday in the trial of three former El Paso Corp. natural gas traders accused of attempted market manipulation through false reporting to price index publishers.

December 6, 2007

REX Shippers Say Northern Tying Capacity to ‘Phantom Backhaul’ Deal

Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) shippers have accused Northern Natural Gas of limiting access to receipt point capacity at the interconnection between the REX and Northern Natural systems to REX shippers that agree to purchase a “phantom backhaul service.”

October 29, 2007

REX Shippers Say Northern Tying Capacity to ‘Phantom Backhaul’ Deal

Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) shippers have accused Northern Natural Gas of limiting access to receipt point capacity at the interconnection between the REX and Northern Natural systems to shippers who agree to purchase a “phantom backhaul service.”

October 29, 2007

House Speaker Accused of Manipulating Legislative Process

The head of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers has accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of trying to do an end-run around the conference committee process in order to pass energy legislation that doesn’t have the necessary support.

October 16, 2007

Energy Transfer Says Court, Not FERC, Has Final Say on Penalties

Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) is seeking expedited rehearing of a July show cause order in which FERC accused it of manipulating the natural gas physical markets at the Houston Ship Channel and Waha trading hub. The Dallas-based energy company faces up to $167 million in total penalties and disgorgement of unjust profits if it is unable to successfully dispute the charges (see NGI, July 30).

September 3, 2007

Energy Transfer Says Court, Not FERC, Should Decide Penalty Case

Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) is seeking expedited rehearing of a July show cause order in which FERC accused it of manipulating the natural gas physical markets at the Houston Ship Channel and Waha trading hub. The Dallas-based energy company faces up to $167 million in total penalties and disgorgement of unjust profits if it is unable to successfully dispute the charges (see Daily GPI, July 27).

August 29, 2007

Complaint Seeks Rate Relief from Southwest Gas Storage

Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line shippers, industry associations and customer advocate groups have accused Panhandle affiliate Southwest Gas Storage of charging “unjust and unreasonable” rates for jurisdictional storage services, and have called on FERC to act quickly to provide some rate relief.

November 20, 2006

Complaint Seeks Rate Relief from Southwest Gas Storage

Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line shippers, industry associations and customer advocate groups have accused Panhandle affiliate Southwest Gas Storage of charging “unjust and unreasonable” rates for jurisdictional storage services, and have called on FERC to act quickly to provide some rate relief.

November 16, 2006

Industry Briefs

Ceding to requests by both the prosecution and the defense, the trial of three former El Paso Corp. natural gas traders accused of reporting false pricing information to industry publications has been delayed for six months. U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon approved a joint motion by government prosecutors and the defense teams that will allow the defendants more time to prepare for their trial. A grand jury issued a superseding indictment against James Brooks, Wesley Walton and James Phillips in September. They were to go to trial in November. However, Harmon moved it to May 14. Brooks, a former managing director of El Paso Merchant Energy, was charged in 2005, and former gas traders Walton and Phillips were charged in 2004 with trying to manipulate published indexes by submitting bogus price information to NGI and Inside FERC’s Gas Market Report between 1999 and 2002 (see NGI, Nov. 7, 2005; Dec. 6, 2004). The superseding indictment in September charged each man with one count of conspiracy, 24 counts of false reporting and 24 counts of wire fraud under the Commodity Exchange Act.

October 30, 2006

Gas Traders’ Trial Delayed Six Months

Ceding to requests by both the prosecution and the defense, the trial of three former El Paso Corp. natural gas traders accused of reporting false pricing information to industry publications was delayed for six months.

October 24, 2006
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