EU Gas Traders Urge Grids to Clarify Flow Data Transparency

Jun 06, 2014 7:00 am ET

(Updates with Entsog comment in fourth paragraph.)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- The European Federation of Energy Traders has written to more than 25 natural gas grid operators requesting details on where to find data they should be reporting under a 2009 European Union regulation.

The letters requested grid operators for information regarding the near real-time flows at interconnection points and the amount of gas in the grid’s pipelines, or linepack, Colin Lyle, board member and chairman of Amsterdam-based EFET’s gas committee, said yesterday by telephone. The correspondences were sent at the beginning of last month, he said.

EFET can’t find the information on websites of the various operators, which suggests they may not be complying with regulation, Lyle said, declining to comment on which grids the letters were addressed to. The number of responses so far has been “disappointing,” he said.

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas, which represents more than 40 grid companies, said while it didn’t receive the letter from EFET, it was aware that some of its members had. Entsog’s working group on transparency is currently discussing options for a coordinated response, it said today in an e-mail.

The EU’s so-called third energy package came into force in 2009, intending to open gas and electricity markets and separate transmission networks from generation businesses. The newly created network companies then became responsible for providing transparent data about their activities.

Transparency Rules

A set of rules under the EU’s REMIT transparency regulation for trade data reporting for power and gas markets is expected to be passed this month, the European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, said on April 24. The regulation will take six months to come into force, with reporting probably starting by the end of the year.

“There’s still a need to make sure there’s full reporting,” Walter Boltz, vice chairman at the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, said in a June 3 interview at the Eurelectric conference in London. “In some cases some companies have not fully realized what they should report or they have a different understanding.”

Some countries, especially in central and eastern Europe, still need to “spread the word” on the new legislation, Boltz said. A number of member states still need to implement regulation stipulating fines for non-compliance, he added.

“I think over time, once the implementing act is there, it will probably be sorted out step by step because there will be some violations of reporting requirements and some people will get fined and then they know it,” he said. “If you process information that could potentially have insider value, the safest way is to publish it, then you are on the safe side.”