Penalty

CFTC Settles Case Against Former Duke Gas Trader

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has obtained a $55,000 civil monetary penalty and a permanent injunction in a consent order settling charges against Michael Whitney, a former Houston-based natural gas trader and marketing representative at Duke Energy Trading and Marketing LLC.

March 7, 2008

Industry Brief

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has agreed to mitigate damage to about three acres of wetlands that were impacted and pay a $157,500 civil penalty for the destruction of wetlands near the Hams Fork River in Lincoln County, WY, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, found that during construction of two natural gas well pads and associated access roads and connecting pipelines, Anadarko subsidiaries Westport Oil and Gas Co. and Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Onshore LP acted without a permit and placed material into the wetlands, which “adversely altered their functions and values.” The federal Clean Water Act prohibits these types of discharges unless they have been authorized by a Corps permit. As compensatory mitigation for the violations, Anadarko will be required to physically restore 0.85 acres of impacted wetlands and create an additional 4.18 acres of wetlands. Mike Risner, EPA Region 8 Legal Enforcement director, said the environmental impacts cited “could have been avoided if the company had consulted with the Corps prior to commencing its activities.”

November 21, 2007

Marathon to Pay $1M Penalty in 2003 Price Manipulation Case

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has ordered Marathon Petroleum Co. (MPC), a subsidiary of Ohio-based Marathon Oil Corp., to pay a $1 million civil penalty for attempting to manipulate crude oil spot prices.

August 6, 2007

Marathon to Pay $1M Penalty in 2003 Price Manipulation Case

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has ordered Marathon Petroleum Co. (MPC), a subsidiary of Ohio-based Marathon Oil Corp., to pay a $1 million civil penalty for attempting to manipulate crude oil spot prices.

August 2, 2007

Transportation Notes

Pacific Gas & Electric issued a systemwide Stage 2 high-inventory OFO for Sunday and Monday, then lifted it Tuesday. The penalty for exceeding a 5% tolerance on positive daily imbalances was set at $1/Dth.

February 21, 2007

Industry Briefs

NRG Energy Inc. agreed to pay a $2 million civil penalty to resolve charges by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that the Minneapolis-based company knowingly reported false information concerning natural gas trades to Gas Daily, an energy index reporting service published by Platts. The order resolves an action brought against NRG almost three years ago (see NGI, July 5, 2004). The consent order, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, included findings that, from at least August 2001 through May 2, 2002, NRG reported false information, including price and volume information, to the industry publication. According to the order, the reports contained trades that had not been executed, trades executed by NRG but with altered prices and/or volumes, and intra-day trades reported as next-day trades. The settlement followed a decision issued last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which ruled that the Minnesota district court, and not the Bankruptcy Court of New York where NRG had sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2003, had jurisdiction over CFTC’s enforcement action (see NGI, Aug. 14, 2006). NRG had argued that the bankruptcy court retained exclusive jurisdiction over any legal actions.

February 19, 2007

CFTC Targets Western Gas, NRG Energy for False Gas Price Reporting

Western Gas Resources, a Denver, CO-based independent gas producer, agreed Thursday to pay a civil penalty of $7 million in a settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to resolve charges of attempted manipulation and reporting of false information by traders on natural gas transactions in the 1999-2002 time period.

February 16, 2007

NRG to Pay $2M Fine for Bogus Gas Trades

NRG Energy Inc. agreed to pay a $2 million civil penalty to resolve charges by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that the Minneapolis-based company knowingly reported false information concerning natural gas trades to Gas Daily, an energy index reporting service published by Platts. The order resolves an action brought against NRG almost three years ago (see Daily GPI, July 2, 2004).

February 16, 2007

WA Going After Those Who Don’t Call Before Digging

At the request of state utility regulators, the Washington state’s attorney general will seek a stiff penalty against a Puget Sound-area construction company that has repeatedly hit and damaged underground utility wires and pipelines.

January 2, 2007

Transportation Notes

Southern Natural Gas declared an OFO Type 6 for long imbalances that takes effect Friday until further notice. No penalty will apply to long imbalances less than 2% or 200 dekatherms (whichever is less) in excess of scheduled volumes. Tiered penalties will be charged for imbalances greater than 2%, topped by $15/Dth for imbalances exceeding 8%. Southern said it was “highly likely” that the OFO will be extended through at least Saturday and Sunday.

December 29, 2006