US FERC investigates two cases of market manipulation during February freeze in Texas

Nov. 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said on Thursday it referred two cases of the February freeze in Texas to its investigations division to look for possible market manipulation or d other violations.

FERC said its analysis and monitoring division looked at wholesale natural gas and electricity market activity during the February frost, also known as winter storm Uri, to determine whether market participants have engaged in market manipulation or other violations.

The analysis group analyzed data from the gas and electricity market and trade, evaluated the hotline’s advice and met with many interested parties.

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These examinations led to 14 inquiries into the behavior of players in the gas and electricity market, which gave rise to the two questions submitted for inquiry.

FERC said its review is ongoing and other matters may be referred for investigation.

The freeze left more than 4.5 million people in Texas without power – some for four days – and killed more than 100 people. Read more

During the winter storm, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the Texas power grid, ordered gradual blackouts to prevent the grid from collapsing as the extreme cold shut down many power plants and frozen gas pipelines.

In addition, electricity and gas prices hit record highs in several areas of Texas and other central US states during the storm, costing utilities and their consumers billions of dollars which will have to be repaid over the years.

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Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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