Monday, 3 December 2012

Natural Gas Pricing in U.K. Is No Libor as Probe Begins


The regulatory investigation into alleged manipulation in the U.K. gas market, Europe’s biggest, may fail to undermine a price-setting system that relies on daily conversations between journalists and traders.

While forcing more buying and selling onto an exchange would improve transparency, scrapping reporters’ assessments of the private over-the-counter market would increase prices for end-users, according to Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc., a consultant whose clients include 70 of the U.K.’s 100 biggest publicly traded companies. Whatever the merits of the probe, regulators will have “great difficulty” finding evidence of manipulation, Eddie Proffitt, chairman of the natural gas group at the U.K.’s Major Energy Users’ Council, said Nov. 14.

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