On November 17, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) issued an order officially terminating consideration of a three-year-old proposal to require quarterly reporting of every Natural Gas Act (NGA)-jurisdictional next-day or next-month natural gas transaction. When the Commission issued the Enhanced Natural Gas Market Transparency Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in November 2012, the Commission noted that the proposed reporting requirement would improve natural gas market transparency and enhance FERC’s ability to identify manipulative conduct in the natural gas markets. In response to the NOI, several parties filed comments raising various concerns with the proposal. Many commenters argued that the reporting requirement proposed in the NOI would not enhance natural gas market transparency, because it would apply to only NGA-jurisdictional sales, which comprise only a small portion of total natural gas sales. In addition to receiving comments, the Commission’s Office of Enforcement, in connection with the NOI, obtained additional information regarding natural gas marketing activities by sending data requests to certain natural gas marketers (the responses to which the Commission treated nonpublicly). In the November 17, 2015, order terminating the NOI proceeding, the Commission noted that “[a]fter gaining ongoing access to additional physical natural gas market data, we have determined that the NOI’s proposed reporting requirement is not necessary at this time” and that the Commission therefore would “exercise [its] discretion to terminate this proceeding.”
Notably, while the Commission officially terminated further consideration of a new natural gas transaction reporting requirement, it continues to consider implementing substantial new reporting requirements for participants in the wholesale power markets.