FSA and Ofgem probe natural gas markets

Marion Dakers
THE FINANCIAL Services Authority and energy watchdog Ofgem are investigating claims that the wholesale natural gas market has been manipulated.

Energy secretary Ed Davey said he is “extremely concerned about these allegations” and has been working closely with the regulators since the gas contract trades were flagged to his department last week.

A whistleblower from price reporting service ICIS Heren has raised concerns about quotes submitted in Europe’s biggest gas market on 28 September that were below the ordinary market trend, which might have forced the price lower and given scope for a trader or traders to profit from the drop.

Ofgem confirmed yesterday it had been handed information on such trades, and “will consider carefully any evidence of market abuse that is brought to our attention as well as scope for action under all our other powers”.

Several of the “big six” UK energy suppliers issued statements last night denying any involvement in the trades.

Davey plans to make a statement on the subject to the House of Commons today.