Kansas is accusing Macquarie Energy LLC of buying next-day gas at a key Midcontinent hub at “irrational” prices during Uri — a move the suit says had the effect of artificially inflating prices by “hundreds of dollars” per million British thermal units.
The Oklahoman newspaper first reported that Drummond’s office was reviewing the case.
Drummond, who took office this year, is Oklahoma’s third attorney general since Uri. Mike Hunter, who held the position during the storm, announced an investigation in the days after natural gas prices soared to all-time highs. Hunter abruptly resigned just a few months later and was replaced by John O’Connor, who warned he would file multiple lawsuits against oil and gas companies but later walked that back.
The staff of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which oversees oil and gas production as well as the state’s public utility division, doesn’t believe the agency has the legal authority to investigate natural gas prices in a federally regulated market, spokesman Matt Skinner said.
Still, the matter continues to be discussed by the agency’s three elected commissioners. One, Bob Anthony, pointed to the Kansas case on Thursday as evidence that his agency should back his calls for an investigation.
While a handful of other states have announced investigations related to natural gas prices during Winter Storm Uri, Kansas is the first to file a lawsuit targeting a specific company and trading strategy. Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach’s case focuses on Macquarie’s trades at a single hub along the Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, which shuttles fuel through states including Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, among others.