On behalf of a group of market participants, we investigated the NYMEX Henry Hub natural gas futures contract for possible price manipulation, following its then-unprecedented price behavior. We focused our analysis on schemes that could be designed to drive up prices. We then performed economic and statistical tests for manipulation, examining data on:

  • Natural gas futures contracts' volumes and prices
  • Agricultural products futures contracts' volumes and prices
  • Natural gas cash market (physical) transactions at Henry Hub and other trading centers
  • Weekly position and concentration data on commercial and non-commercial Henry Hub futures' traders
  • Natural gas storage inventories
  • Week-to-week deviations in nationwide weather levels from normal patterns
  • Changes in trading controls

Our analysis found that the data did not support a view of chronic or systematic manipulation of the NYMEX Henry Hub contract.