Commodity

CFTC Imposes $3.2B-Plus in Sanctions in 2015

Total monetary sanctions handed down by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) this year totaled more than $3.2 billion, including an $800 million sanction, the largest in the commission’s history, according to Chairman Timothy Massad.

December 16, 2015

EV Energy Lowering Expectations, Might Cut Distribution Next Year

Depressed commodity prices, declining production and lower distributable cash flow (DCF) are heralding a potential cut to EV Energy Partners unitholder distributions next year unless commodity prices improve, executives said Monday.

November 9, 2015

Oil, Gas States Feeling Budget Squeeze From Low Commodity Prices

As exploration and production (E&P) companies cut back spending in order to stay afloat in a low commodity price environment, the downturn has many oil and gas states feeling the budget squeeze as well.

November 2, 2015

Tallgrass Interstate Seeks Rate Hike Due to Shifting Supplies, Markets

Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission (TIGT) is asking FERC for a rate hike and postage-stamp rate treatment. The pipeline cites reduced throughput due to shrinking Rocky Mountain-Midcontinent basis differentials, as well as modest prospects for market demand growth and competition from other pipelines “in virtually every market.”

November 2, 2015
Low Commodity Prices, Stable Production to Stick Around, CME Economist Says

Low Commodity Prices, Stable Production to Stick Around, CME Economist Says

Influenced by China as a global economic barometer and driver of commodity prices, U.S. oil/natural gas production will stay relatively stable amid continued low prices, but over the long-term prices will edge upward, according to Bluford Putnam, chief economist for CME Group.

September 14, 2015

Range Resources Again Cuts 2015 Spending on Commodity Price Outlook

In a move to further protect its balance sheet from eroding commodity prices, Range Resources Corp. has cut its previously announced spending plans for this year from $1.3 billion to $870 million.

January 16, 2015

Fed’s Commodity Markets Proposal a ‘Timid Step,’ Senator Says

One day after the Federal Reserve System (Fed) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANOPR) seeking comment on how to limit risk involved in the physical commodity activity of financial holding companies, members of a Senate Banking subcommittee voiced skepticism about the effort and its timing.

January 15, 2014

People

Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Jill Sommers, one of two Republicans at the agency, said she will leave on Monday (July 8), one and a half years before her term is due to end in October 2014. Her resignation does not come as a surprise as she informed President Obama in January that she planned to leave (see NGI, Jan. 28). Asked where she intended to go after the CFTC, Sommers told NGI, “I don’t know. I have not started looking for my next opportunity yet.” Before leaving the agency, she pledged to carry out the investigation into MF Global Holdings Ltd. and former CEO Jon Corzine, a former U.S. senator and New Jersey governor; and an assistant treasurer for illegal use of customer money. The CFTC recently filed a proposed order against MF Global and Corzine, which is the subject of review by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Because CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler had ties to MF Global and Corzine, Sommers was picked to lead the investigation into the company’s collapse, which took with it an estimated $1.2 billion in customer funds (see NGI, Nov. 14, 2011). Sommers has been on the Commission as it worked on Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. She was first sworn in as Commissioner in August 2007 for a term that expired in April 2009 then renominated by Obama to serve a second term. Some CFTC observers consider Christopher Giancarlo, executive vice president of the brokerage firm GFI Group Inc., a likely candidate to replace Sommers. “It’s not a fact, so we’re not going to comment,” said a GFI spokeswoman of the rumors, which she said had been circulating for a few weeks. Giancarlo is no stranger to Capitol Hill. He has testified several times about the challenges of implementing Dodd-Frank.

July 8, 2013

People

Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Jill Sommers, one of two Republicans at the agency, said she will leave on Monday (July 8), one and a half years before her term is due to end in October 2014. Her resignation does not come as a surprise as she informed President Obama in January that she planned to leave (see NGI, Jan. 28). Asked where she intended to go after the CFTC, Sommers told NGI, “I don’t know. I have not started looking for my next opportunity yet.” Before leaving the agency, she pledged to carry out the investigation into MF Global Holdings Ltd. and former CEO Jon Corzine, a former U.S. senator and New Jersey governor; and an assistant treasurer for illegal use of customer money. The CFTC recently filed a proposed order against MF Global and Corzine, which is the subject of review by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Because CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler had ties to MF Global and Corzine, Sommers was picked to lead the investigation into the company’s collapse, which took with it an estimated $1.2 billion in customer funds (see NGI, Nov. 14, 2011). Sommers has been on the Commission as it worked on Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. She was first sworn in as Commissioner in August 2007 for a term that expired in April 2009 then renominated by Obama to serve a second term. Some CFTC observers consider Christopher Giancarlo, executive vice president of the brokerage firm GFI Group Inc., a likely candidate to replace Sommers. “It’s not a fact, so we’re not going to comment,” said a GFI spokeswoman of the rumors, which she said had been circulating for a few weeks. Giancarlo is no stranger to Capitol Hill. He has testified several times about the challenges of implementing Dodd-Frank.

July 8, 2013

Industry Briefs

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that found the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) did not act illegally in promulgating Dodd-Frank regulations. The Investment Company Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce brought the action against the CFTC, arguing that the adopted regulations applying to derivatives trading were unlawfully adopted and invalid. The district court “granted summary judgment in favor of the Commission. Because we agree with the district court that the Commission did not act unlawfully in promulgating the regulations, we affirm,” ruled the appeals court. Specifically, the two groups challenged a rule that would subject registered investment companies (RIC) engaged in derivatives trading to many of the Dodd-Frank requirements. Prior to 2003, RICs engaged in rare derivatives trading activities, but that has since changed, according to the CFTC. It is the agency’s latest legal victory with respect to its Dodd-Frank regulation of the $300 trillion.

July 1, 2013