UK Energy Sector Under Pressure to Improve Transparency

Posted by Michelle Howard
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

British energy companies are under pressure to improve the way they announce outages or capacity reductions at their plants after regulator Ofgem found examples that could lead to market distortions.

Under European Union regulation called REMIT, introduced in 2011, energy generators have to publish information related to any changes in capacity or use of their production, storage or transmission facilities, such as outages or shutdowns.

Yet three years on, British regulator Ofgem is unhappy with the progress made by the sector, and it says it has initiated an industry review.

At issue is what the industry understands by "inside information", which REMIT defines as information that when made public could significantly affect the prices of wholesale energy products.

"The driver for our review was a concern that inside information publications by market participants are not as effective as they could be," Ofgem said in a letter sent to wholesale energy market participants last week.

"Our review found significant variations in the quality, consistency and timeliness of inside information publications that are being put online by market participants," it added.

"We are also actively looking into possible breaches of REMIT on an ongoing basis," it continued.

Ofgem has found variations in the way changes in capacity and the start and end-times of such events are reported, as well as a lack of public records on historic notifications of inside information, which could call into question the use of social media as a sole method for publicising such data.

"This is a warning signal to the industry. A number of players have taken a very narrow view on what is inside information and if they are wise they will have another look at their policies," Jonathan Herbst, partner at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, told Reuters.

However, the lack of definition around some aspects of REMIT when it was introduced has allowed generators to make a more liberal interpretation of its requirements, he added.


Lack of Definition?
Under REMIT, participants have to disclose inside information related to businesses or facilities which they own or control in an "effective and timely manner."

REMIT does not spell out what that timeframe should be and it is up to participants to take legal advice on defining that.

Many firms, such as EDF Energy, have followed guidance from the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), which advises that participants ensure information is published at the latest within one hour of an event, such as an outage or change in capacity.

EDF Energy is one of the largest energy firms in Britain, operating eight nuclear plants, two coal plants and one gas-fired power station. It publishes data related to these plants on a website and updates energy market journalists via email.

"We are aware that REMIT guidance on timing is not specific. For EDF Energy, as soon as we are aware of a change to published data we make every effort to inform the market as soon as possible in the clearest of manners," a company spokeswoman said.

There is also a lack of detail about what platform or method should be used for disclosing information.

On Monday, Total E&P UK reported an unplanned outage at its St Fergus gas terminal in the North Sea on social media services Twitter and Facebook but not on its company REMIT website, as it does with its planned outages.

The outage had a market impact, driving UK natural gas prices up by around 6 percent in morning trade on Monday.

On Total's website, it says: "Information on the unplanned unavailability of infrastructure operated by Total E&P UK and Elf Exploration UK Limited can be found on our Twitter and Facebook pages."

"We will continue with this procedure until we are advised otherwise," said Total E&P UK communication adviser Sandra McIntosh.

"Another big issue is what 'public' means for REMIT purposes. I would be surprised if tweeting was sufficient," Herbst said.

(By Nina Chestney, Editing by Henning Gloystein and Keiron Henderson)

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Steelhead Introduces a New Yacht Crane

Steelhead Marine, a North American crane manufacturer, has expanded its product offering with the launch of the new E Series 1000 crane. Suited for commercial and recreational vessels,

SEACOR Marine Sweeps NOIA SIS Awards

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) today presented SEACOR Marine with the 2015 NOIA Safety in Seas (SIS) Culture of Safety Award and Safety Practice Award.

Variable Bore Rams is 35

Variable Bore Rams, Inc. (VBR), one of the largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ram and BOP component providers in the world, is celebrating its 35th

Energy

Icebreakers Ordered for Neft’s Novy Port Project

Aker Arctic’s icebreaker design selected for Gazprom Neft’s Novy Port project   Aker Arctic and Vyborg Shipyard have confirmed a contract for the design of two

MacGregor's Pusnes bow loading systems for Suezmax Tankers

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has secured contracts to supply Pusnes bow loading systems for three newbuild shuttle tankers intended for operations in Brazilian waters.

SEACOR Marine Sweeps NOIA SIS Awards

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) today presented SEACOR Marine with the 2015 NOIA Safety in Seas (SIS) Culture of Safety Award and Safety Practice Award.

Fuels & Lubes

Naval Authorities Rely on OSE Separators from GEA

The trend of modernizing ships and fitting them with more efficient separator systems, which has been noticeable since 2014 particularly in Europe and North America,

Spain Investigates Sinking off Canary Islands

Spain launched an investigation on Thursday into the sinking of a Russian ship off the Canary Islands, as coastguards battled a six-km (3.7-mile) oil slick close to tourist beaches.

Bomin Launches Bunker Operations in Copenhagen

The Bomin Group, a global physical supplier and trader of marine fuel oil, has announced that it is launching a physical operation in Copenhagen, Denmark.  The

News

Vigor’s Tacoma Yard Delivers Breasting Barges to Foss

Vigor Industrial expands its newbuild capacity in Washington; Tacoma yard delivers three breasting barges   Fabrication teams at Vigor Industrial’s Tacoma, Wash.

New Milling Disc from IN.MOTION

IN.MOTION Technology Distribution, LLC, announced the launch of a new milling disc designed for fast, efficient beveling, weld preparation and weld repair. According to the manufacturer,

Newport News Shipbuilding Hosts Sen. Inhofe

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) today hosted Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.   The senator,

Government Update

Newport News Shipbuilding Hosts Sen. Inhofe

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) today hosted Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division.   The senator,

Severn Trent De Nora's OMNIPURE Systems Get USCG Approval

The new OMNIPURE™ Series 55/64 marine sewage treatment systems from Severn Trent De Nora have received final certification from the United States Coast Guard

Migrant Crisis Intensifies with Murder Arrests, Drownings

Italian police arrested 15 African men suspected of throwing about a dozen Christians from a migrant boat in the Mediterranean on Thursday, as the crisis off southern Italy intensified.

Communication

Founder & Chief of CMA CGM Decorated by French President

The CMA CGM Group is pleased to announce that the French President François Hollande has decorated Mr Jacques R. Saadé, the CMA CGM Group Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,

Videotel for Action over Enclosed Spaces

VideotelTM, the leading international provider of e-Learning maritime training programs and a company of KVH Industries, Inc., has backed calls by the UK-based

Seafarers Content with Life at Sea - BIMCO/ICS Report

A new survey being carried out as part of the BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report 2015 is directly engaging seafarers in order to understand their views on life at sea

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1366 sec (7 req/sec)