Media January-March 2005
Oversight and Investigation's (OMOI)
Investigation of Events Related to the Energy Information Administration's Weekly Natural Gas Storage
Report for November 24, 2004
- Commission staff concludes its investigation of the November 24, 2004, Energy Information Administration (EIA) natural gas storage report.
- Commission staff finds no evidence that any Dominion Resources, Inc. trader had improper, advance knowledge of the error in EIA's November 24 weekly storage report.
- On December 17, 2004, Commission staff announced that due to a clerical error, Dominion Transmission, Inc. submitted erroneous data to EIA for the week ending November 19, 2004, which resulted in EIA reporting a larger than expected storage withdrawal.
- Prior to November 24, market observers anticipated a withdrawal from storage in the range of 13-25 Bcf for the week ending November 19, 2004. When the EIA released its Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report at noon on November 24 showing a net withdrawal 49 Bcf, the price of natural gas futures contracts on NYMEX immediately increased.
- Prices for December contracts closed up $1.183/MMBtu and January contracts were up $1.018/MMBtu for the day.
- On December 2, 2004, EIA issued a 32 Bcf correction to the prior week's report.
Commission staff conducted a full investigation of this matter.
- reviewed documents related to Dominion's submission of storage information to EIA;
- deposed and/or interviewed nine Dominion employees, including traders employed by Dominion's trading affiliate, Dominion Energy Clearinghouse;
- obtained written testimony from an additional 22 Dominion employees;
- reviewed thousands of emails and instant messages;
- analyzed Dominion's energy trading book from mid-November until after EIA posted the correction to the weekly report; and
- analyzed trading of other market participants during the same period.