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FERC to examine failings during cold snap

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has announced that its Office of Enforcement is examining wholesale natural gas and electricity market activity during February’s extreme cold weather to determine if any market participants engaged in market manipulation or other violations.

If the Office of Enforcement finds any potential wrongdoing that can be addressed under FERC’s statutory authority, it will pursue those matters as non-public investigations.

FERC explained that this examination will take place as part of the Division of Analytics and Surveillance’s (DAS) ongoing surveillance of market participant behaviour in the wholesale natural gas and electricity markets. The Division uses market participant-level trading data and data from the financial markets to screen daily and monthly trading at the majority of physical and financial natural gas trading hubs in the United States and the organised and bilateral wholesale electricity markets. DAS closely identifies and scrutinises any potentially anticompetitive or manipulative behaviour to determine if an investigation is appropriate.

Throughout this process, the Office of Enforcement will work with FERC’s federal partners as necessary and appropriate.

FERC is also set to open a new proceeding to examine the threat that climate change and extreme weather events pose to electric reliability. The proceeding will examine how grid operators prepare for and respond to extreme weather events, including, but not limited to droughts, extreme cold, wildfires, hurricanes, and prolonged heat waves.

“The effects of climate change are already apparent,” FERC Chairman Glick said, “and we must do everything we can within our statutory authority to ensure that the electric grid is capable of keeping the lights on in the face of extreme weather.”

FERC announced that the proceeding would include a technical conference with an opportunity for parties to submit comments in advance of that conference, with additional details to follow.


For more news and technical articles from the oil and gas pipeline industry, read the latest issue of World Pipelines magazine.

World Pipelines’ February 2021 issue

The February 2021 issue of World Pipelines includes: a report on Australasian pipelines; an interesting look at the need to protect pipeline information from the Freedom of Information Act (USA); analysis of Ukraine’s place in the global gas sector; and technical articles on subsea repair, coatings, ILI and SCADA systems.

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US pipeline news FERC pipeline news