Gas and power sellers rack up billions in profit from Texas freeze
Natural gas suppliers, pipeline companies and banks that trade commodities have emerged as the biggest market winners from February’s U.S. winter blast that roiled gas and power markets, according to more than two dozen interviews and quarterly earnings reports.
The deep freeze caught Texas’s utilities off-guard, killed more than 100 people and left 4.5 million without power. Demand for heat pushed wholesale power costs to 400 times the usual amount and propelled natural gas prices to record highs, forcing utilities and consumers to pay exorbitant bills.
After the storm, few companies wanted to talk about their financial gains, unwilling to be seen as profiting off others’ hardships. But a clearer picture is emerging from quarterly earnings and as utility companies smarting from big bills sue to recoup their losses.
The biggest winners were companies with access to supplies, including…