US House committees expand Enron investigation

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Dec. 11 -- Congressional committees examining Enron Corp.'s downfall expanded their investigation Tuesday, calling on the Houston energy company to release documents relating to off-balance sheet entities and risk management policies.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman James Greenwood (R-PA) also called on the Securities Exchange Commission to turn over reviews and records of Enron's accounting practices and filings since 1997 by Dec. 17.

Tauzin in a letter to SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt said the committee is "profoundly disturbed" by the events surrounding Enron's collapse, especially the loss of retirement savings by Enron employees. In addition, Tauzin said the implosion of the largest US gas and power trader illustrated the lack of transparency in Enron's derivatives position in the energy market.

Among the things the committee wants to know is how Enron and other companies can include in current earnings unrealized gains on derivatives portfolios and what guidance accounting rules provide for the valuation of energy derivatives in a portfolio.

The committee is also looking into accounting guidelines that allow companies to avoid consolidating special purpose entities onto the sponsoring firm's balance sheet. Enron's stock began its free fall after the company disclosed it was reducing shareholder equity by $1.2 billion in the third quarter, resulting from losses at unconsolidated partnerships and other special purpose entities.

In a letter to Enron Chairman Ken Lay, the committee asked for records relating to these special purpose entities, including LJM Cayman LP, LJM2 Co-Investment LP, Joint Energy Development Investments LP or JEDI, Chewco Investments LP, the Raptor entities, Osprey, and Big Doe.

The letter also makes its plain the committee is examining relationships between these entities and Enron employees for any evidence of improprieties. Members also apparently want to examine why the proposed take over of Enron by Dynegy Inc. fell through. It has asked Enron to supply all draft versions of Enron's third quarter earnings report given Dynegy during October and November.

The committee also asked to interview Lay, former chief financial officer Andrew Fastow, other current and former senior Enron employees, as well as members of Enron's audit and compliance committee, including Wendy Gramm, wife of US Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.).

The committee asked the company to make its directors and senior management available by Dec. 21. Last week, committee investigators were in Houston interviewing Enron's current CFO, Jeffrey McMahon.

Related Articles

EPA delays proposal to regulate methane emissions until 2015

12/19/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency is delaying plans to issue proposals to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas operations until 2015, O...

BLM starts process to consider new Nevada lease nominations

12/19/2014 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Battle Mountain, Nev., field office is seeking public comment on 197 parcels of public land, totaling 415,921 ac...

California Bay Area advances plan for enhanced refinery regulations

12/19/2014 California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in...

IEA finds US energy policy improved in latest in-depth review

12/19/2014 US energy policies have come into sharper focus in the last six years, the International Energy Agency said in its latest periodic review. It speci...

Mexico uses PSCs in first Round One step

12/19/2014 Mexico is offering production-sharing contracts to companies incorporated in the country for exploration of 14 shallow-water areas in Round One bid...

Jewell names Maryland energy administrator BOEM’s new director

12/18/2014 US Interior Sec. Sally Jewell appointed Abigail Ross Hopper, who currently directs the Maryland Energy Administration, as the new director of the U...

Russia’s Turkey pipeline deal possibly may keep door to Europe ajar

12/18/2014 Russia’s memorandum of understanding to build a natural gas pipeline to Turkey after canceling its South Stream project could help keep the door op...

Moody’s: Mid-term elections dim federal fracing regulation prospects

12/18/2014 Results of 2014’s congressional elections have reduced the prospect of the federal government enacting its own hydraulic fracturing regulations, Mo...

Apache awarded Western Australia offshore permit

12/18/2014 A day after reporting its planned divestment of Western Australian and Canadian assets to Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Apache Corp. has been awarded a ...

White Papers

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



The Future of US Refining

When Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

When Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected