In an otherwise quiet start to the week for natural gas forwards markets, New England prices took a nosedive as continued lackluster demand and an improving storage picture weighed on the market.
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GAIL India Ltd., India’s s state-owned gas utility and a large energy importer, signed an agreement Thursday with global energy trader EDF Trading to acquire and develop oil and gas assets in North America.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has intervened in former Amaranth gas trader Brian Hunter’s appeal of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order fining him $30 million for allegedly manipulating the gas futures market. In the briefing filed in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the CFTC said it intervened in the case because “FERC’s assertion of jurisdiction directly conflicts with the express statutory grant of exclusive jurisdiction to the CFTC over futures trading on futures exchanges.” The two federal regulatory agencies have butted heads over the issue of whether FERC has jurisdiction in cases where the manipulation of natural gas futures trades subsequently influences the price of physical gas transactions (see NGI, Sept. 17, 2007). Both Hunter and the CFTC argue that FERC lacks jurisdiction in these cases. However in intervening in the case, the CFTC is not defending Hunter’s alleged activities in the futures market. In mid-2007, the CFTC brought its own action against Amaranth and Hunter for attempted gas futures market manipulation one day before FERC brought its enforcement action (see NGI, July 30, 2007). The Amaranth hedge fund was liquidated in late 2006 after losing $6 billion on natural gas trades. FERC fined Hunter $30 million in April 2011.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Wednesday filed an intervenor brief on behalf of former Amaranth gas trader Brian Hunter, who is appealing an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for fining him $30 million for allegedly manipulating the gas futures market.
September natural gas managed a modest gain Wednesday as traders positioned themselves ahead of the weekly inventory report. For every trader anxious to cover a short position there seemed to be another willing initiate a new sale. At the close September had risen nine-tenths of a cent to $4.003 and October added nine-tenths of a cent as well to $4.024. September crude oil rebounded from steep losses in the last two sessions, adding $3.59 to $82.89/bbl.
August natural gas futures treaded water Friday in spite of ongoing oppressive heat and trader perceptions that the market may have put in an important seasonal low. At the close August had risen 0.4 cent to $4.399 and September had added 0.8 cent to $4.370. September crude oil gained 74 cents to $99.87/bbl.
Former Houston gas trader Stephanie Roqumore was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Houston to six years in federal prison without parole for defrauding numerous natural gas trading companies of nearly $8 million. In February Roqumore, 48, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting that from March 2002 through April 2010 she used fraudulent financial statements to defraud 12 companies (see NGI, Feb. 14). She was ordered to pay $7.8 million in restitution to the victim companies.
Former Houston gas trader Stephanie Roqumore pleaded guilty last week to two counts of wire fraud arising from a scheme to defraud numerous natural gas trading companies of nearly $8 million, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said.
Former Houston gas trader Stephanie Roqumore pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of wire fraud arising from a scheme to defraud numerous natural gas trading companies of nearly $8 million, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said.