Energy Enforcement Update

Recent developments: 

  • Barclays files appeal to Ninth Circuit and motion for discovery in federal district court.
  • Powhatan and Chen file rebuttals to FERC opposition motions to dismiss.
  • FERC grants motion for technical conference and postpones comment deadline on Connected Entity NOPR.

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Energy Enforcement Update

Recent Developments:

  • FERC v. Barclays:  Judge Nunley denies motion for clarification and FERC files the administrative record in the Barclays proceeding.
  • FERC v. Powhatan:  FERC files opposition to Powhatan and Chen motions to dismiss.
  • FERC v. Berkshire Power:  FERC issues NAV against Berkshire Power Company LLC and Powerplant Management Services LLC.

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Energy Enforcement Update

Last week, in the FERC v. Barclays court case, the judge issued a scheduling order.  This order gets at the “de novo review” and sets forth how the case will proceed – including whether Barclays gets the right to supplement the record.

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Energy Enforcement Update

On Friday, FERC filed an opposition to Maxim’s motion to dismiss.  FERC contends none of Maxim’s motion meets the requirements for dismissing a complaint.

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Energy Enforcement Update

Yesterday, FERC issued a Notice of Alleged Violation naming Total and two traders.

Staff alleges that the scheme involved making largely uneconomic trades for physical natural gas during bid week designed to move indexed market prices in a way that benefited the company’s related positions. Staff also alleges that the West Desk implemented the bid week scheme on at least 38 occasions during the period of interest.  Staff further alleges that Therese Nguyen and Aaron Hall each implemented the scheme and supervised and directed other traders in implementing the scheme.

FERC Notice of Alleged Violations

Energy Enforcement Update

Many developments on the enforcement front:

  • New NAV for UTC traders.
  • FERC complaint against Maxim challenged by motion to dismiss.
  • New DOJ Guidance Puts Emphasis on Identifying Culpable Individuals in Corporate Internal Investigations.

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Energy Enforcement Update

Yesterday, Presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Carmen A. Cintron issued the Initial Decision in FERC’s enforcement case against BP.  The decision finds that BP violated the Natural Gas Act and FERC’s anti-manipulation rule with regard to BP’s trading of next-day, fixed-price natural gas at the Houston Ship Channel (HSC) from September 18, 2008 through November 30, 2008.

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Energy Enforcement Update

Today, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the FERC v. Barclays case (Judge Nunley) issued an order requesting supplementary briefing in the case.  This order appears to indicate the judge is amenable to accepting FERC’s view of proceedings before the court.

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Energy Enforcement Update

On Friday, July 31, FERC sued Powhatan, et al in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia – Richmond Division.  The EDVA is one of the fastest courts in the federal system, typically averaging under 12 months from complaint to resolution (often by trial).  This is the court and division in which U.S. prosecutors brought the corruption cases against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife.

FERC Complaint Against Powhatan