FERC Orders Evidentiary Hearing for Alleged Market Manipulation by BP

On May 15, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order setting an evidentiary hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) to determine whether BP America Inc., BP Corporation North America Inc., BP America Production Company, and BP Energy Company (collectively, BP) violated FERC’s prohibition on market manipulation in section 1c.1 of FERC’s regulations and section 4A of the Natural Gas Act.  In an August 2013 report, FERC’s Office of Enforcement (OE) alleged that BP manipulated the next-day, fixed-price natural gas market at the Houston Ship Channel (HSC) between September and November 2008.  BP denied these allegations and requested that FERC dismiss the proceeding.  In the May 15, 2014 order, FERC rejected BP’s threshold legal objections regarding the FERC’s authority to proceed and set the matter for an evidentiary hearing.

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