EU Energy Trading Stressed by Margin Calls of $1.5 Trillion

European energy trading is being strained by margin calls of at least $1.5 trillion, putting pressure on governments to provide more liquidity buffers, according to Norway’s Equinor ASA.

Aside from fanning inflation, the biggest energy crisis in decades is sucking up capital to guarantee trades amid wild price swings. That’s pushing European Union officials to intervene to prevent energy markets from stalling, while governments across the region are stepping in to backstop struggling utilities. Finland has warned of a “Lehman Brothers” moment, with power companies facing sudden cash shortages.

“Liquidity support is going to be needed,” Helge Haugane, Equinor’s senior vice president for gas and power, said in an interview. The issue is focused on derivatives trading, while the physical market is functioning, he said, adding that the energy company’s estimate for $1.5 trillion to prop up so-called paper trading is “conservative.”

.yahoo Energy Trading Stressed by Margin Calls of $1.5 Trillion