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

Legal

Zamakona Yards' Commitment to Well-being

Recently employees of Zamakona Yards participated in a training course for maintaining Health, Safety and Environment (HSE). The theoretical practice focused on working at heights,

GasLog Post 4Q 2014 Results

GasLog Ltd. and its subsidiaries an international owner, operator and manager of liquefied natural gas carriers, today reported its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended December 31,

Chassis Pools for Port of Long Beach

Three companies that own the vast majority of chassis serving the San Pedro Bay ports are on track to activate a “gray chassis fleet” of truck-trailers on March 1,

Energy

GasLog Post 4Q 2014 Results

GasLog Ltd. and its subsidiaries an international owner, operator and manager of liquefied natural gas carriers, today reported its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended December 31,

Petrobras Downgrade Shakes Market

Moody's shocked bond investors this week with a surprise two-notch downgrade that put Brazilian oil company Petrobras in junk territory. The move was seen by some investors as overly assertive,

Brightoil Reports Steady Growth in Interim Results

Brightoil Petroleum (Holdings) Limited announced its interim results for the six months ended December 31, 2014, reporting steady growth over the period.   During the period,

Fuels & Lubes

Brightoil Reports Steady Growth in Interim Results

Brightoil Petroleum (Holdings) Limited announced its interim results for the six months ended December 31, 2014, reporting steady growth over the period.   During the period,

Lithuania Looks to U.S. for Gas

Lithuanian liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer Litgas has signed a preliminary agreement with a U.S. supplier, looking to lessen the Baltic nation's dependence on Russia.

RoRo Ship Enters Operation for WWL

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics welcomes into operation the M/V Thermopylae, the first of its new generation of Post Panamax HERO (High Efficiency RoRo) PCTC vessels.

News

China's Maritime Advances Worry US

The Director of U.S. National Intelligence, James Clapper, has expressed his concern at the progress of China in maritime zones it shares with its neighbors, accused

British Queen to Name New Ship

Queen Elizabeth II will christen P&O Cruises’ new flagship Britannia in Southampton, England, on March 10. She will be accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Berenberg in $1.1bln Box Bid

The world's second-oldest bank Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co. KG is lining up a new fund worth EUR 1bn ($1.1bn) for the containership sector.   A report appeared

Government Update

LA, Long Beach Ports Cooperation Approved

Federal regulators approve expanded working pact for Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles to cooperate on congestion relief   The ports of Long Beach and

Mexico Approves 5 Shallow Water Areas in Round One Oil Tender

Mexico has approved the terms for five shallow water areas containing around 355 million barrels of oil equivalent as part of its Round One tender to open up the country's oil fields,

Dredging Project to Protect Virginia Shoreline

Outer Continental Shelf sand will protect infrastructure, restore dunes and habitat   The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Naval Air Station Oceana at Dam Neck,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1397 sec (7 req/sec)