CPE Sponsor with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy Renewed!

Mennta Energy Solutions is pleased to announce renewal as a CPE Sponsor (ID 008896) with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA).

The TSBPA sponsor review program (SRP), a review program for organizations offering CPE courses, ensures the availability of high-quality continuing professional education (CPE) for Texas CPAs.  The program provides the means by which the Board can evaluate courses and enforce standards.

Mennta Energy Solutions, formerly The  Oxford Princeton Programme, is also listed in the National Registry of CPE Sponsors (ID 108314). This qualifies our courses for the TSBPA sponsor review program.

March 2018 - eNewsletters

The latest March 2018 editions of The Energy Education Pipeline eNewsletter are now available.

One of the great things about onsite training is your staff remains in the office.  One of the challenges of onsite training is your staff remains in the office!
The advantages of onsite training are clear – time, cost, and customisation.  However, if not executed properly, the learning experience can be weakened, and it could feel just like your standard weekly meeting.

Mennta Energy Solutions, formerly The  Oxford Princeton Programme, spends a significant amount of time evaluating venues and course design to optimise delegate learning in our public courses.  Here are five tips to help you replicate that success in your next onsite training course:

  • Disconnect
    • Depending on the course content, it is likely your team can do without their phones and computers for a day.  Scheduled breaks to check emails every few hours will suffice and guarantee their focus.
  • Casual Monday
    • Casual Fridays are the best, but a casual Monday will be a close second!  Scaling back attire requirements to jeans and a blouse/polo for the training will have your team in a more excited mindset from the moment they wake up.
  • Assigned Seating
    • Take this opportunity to group your staff with team members they may not interact with on a regular basis.  The long-term teambuilding benefits can be substantial.
  • Classroom Setup
    • If your office space can support it, take your staff back to school and setup classroom style.  This clearly differentiates the day from your standard boardroom meeting and ignites their subconscious need to learn!
  • No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
    • Schedule to have a nice lunch brought in from your team’s favorite local eatery.  While they won’t pay the bill, they will repay you with the positive attitude that comes from a full stomach!

Read your regional edition now:

March 2018  - North, Central and South American Edition

March 2018  - Europe, Middle East and Africa Edition

March 2018  - Asia Pacific Edition

If you do not get our eNewsletters sent directly to your inbox, you can sign-up here.

Course Director Nigel Harris Featured on Thomson Reuters

TR Nigel2

In a special guest blog, Nigel Harris, Faculty and Course Director for Mennta Energy Solutions, discusses the transformation of the European energy sector into its new, heavily regulated landscape, including MiFID II.

Until about seven years ago, energy traders were burdened with very little direct government regulation.

Trading on futures exchanges was subject to regulatory oversight, but the physical markets for oil, gas, power and coal, and the paper markets for swaps and options, were very lightly regulated, if at all.

In these markets, companies traded bilaterally, or through brokers, with no obligation to trade in a specific way, or to inform any regulator about the deals they had done.

Go back another decade or two, and activities that could now get a trading company into serious trouble were commonplace in some parts of the market.

If you knew something that nobody else had yet twigged, you traded accordingly. When you talked to a price reporting agency at the end of the day, you told them what you wanted them to hear.

Part of the game

If this was insider trading or market manipulation, well, almost everyone else was doing it too – it was just part of the game.

Most people would agree (some perhaps reluctantly) that limiting this kind of behavior in energy markets is a good thing. But strong market regulation comes with substantial costs to market participants. And it is difficult to implement without enmeshing everyone in a tangle of red tape.

Since 2011, European energy traders have gone from being essentially unregulated to having three separate (but intertwined) regulatory regimes to comply with.
Pump jacks are seen at the Lukoil-owned Imilorskoye oil field outside the west Siberian city of Kogalym, Russia. Photography: Sergei Karpukhin
Pump jacks are seen at the Lukoil-owned Imilorskoye oil field outside the west Siberian city of Kogalym, Russia. Photography: Sergei Karpukhin


The first was the European regulation on energy markets integrity and transparency (REMIT). This introduced, for the first time, a comprehensive regulatory framework for European gas and power trading.

REMIT covers trading in physical gas and power, capacity products and power and gas derivatives.

It applies to all wholesale trading and to contracts between suppliers and large industrial consumers.

REMIT prohibits insider trading, manipulation or attempted manipulation of gas and power markets.  It requires traders to be registered and imposes a comprehensive and detailed trade reporting regime for over-the-counter (OTC) and bilateral trades.


Next came the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), which applies to the OTC trading of financial derivatives, including all cash-settled and some physically-settled commodity derivatives.

EMIR requires all such OTC trades to be reported, in full detail, to a trade repository, where financial market regulators can inspect them.

In addition, physical trading firms whose derivatives trading exceeds certain thresholds must trade derivatives through a central clearing counterparty.

Certain oil and coal contracts were given a reprieve from EMIR’s clearing requirements, but only until 2020.


Finally, the European markets in financial instruments directive (MiFID), which has been at the heart of the European financial market regulatory framework since 2007, was revised so that it applies to some areas of commodity derivatives trading. The new version, MiFID II, went live in January 2018.

The original MiFID regime included specific exemptions for commodities trading firms.

Physical energy companies who used financial derivatives for hedging purposes, or provided such services to their customers, did not have to comply with MiFID rules.  Firms that provided “investment services” only as an “ancillary” activity to their main business were also exempt.

MiFID II is deliberately intended to cover a much broader range of activities.  Commodities trading exemptions have been removed or narrowed, and the definition of “financial instruments” has been broadened to include both financially and physically settled commodity derivatives.

Under MiFID II, most energy trading companies can still avoid the compliance nightmare of being regulated as a provider of investment services.

However, companies that trade in energy derivatives must now show that this activity is far smaller in trading volume and capital requirements than their main physical business, and that their derivative trading positions represent only a small fraction of the overall market size.

Broader impact

Some MiFID II rules will potentially affect all market participants. For example, on 3 January, all commodity derivatives traded on European exchanges became subject to hard position limits.

These are designed to prevent a trading firm (or group) from holding a market-dominating position in any contract.  They also ensure that when contracts are about to mature, nobody is holding positions larger than could reasonably be physically delivered at maturity.

For heavily traded energy contracts, these limits look very generous. Few firms are likely to ever hold anywhere near the position limit of nearly 300 million barrels of Brent crude oil, or the narrower 75-million-barrel limit for the spot month.

But for some less liquid energy contracts, the limits are far smaller. Physical energy companies that use commodity derivatives for hedging and risk reduction may be allowed to exceed the limits but must apply to the regulator for permission.

Changing world

While energy traders still generally have things easy compared with financial market participants, their world has changed dramatically since 2010. Now, certain types of deals must be recorded and reported, quickly and in fine detail.

Many firms must manage separate reporting regimes for REMIT and EMIR; some have reporting obligations under MiFID as well. Firms must be correctly registered with the authorities before they can legally trade.

In the largest firms, position limits may constrain trading, and aggregate positions must be tracked and may need to be reported daily.

Smaller firms, and those focused on physical trading, qualify for exemptions from the most onerous reporting and clearing obligations, but they must monitor their use of derivatives to ensure they remain within thresholds, and apply regularly to several regulators to maintain their exempt status.

With the implementation of MiFID II, we may have finally reached a period of relative stability in European energy market regulation, after several years of continual change.

What’s in the pipeline?

Some tweaks to the EMIR regime are in the pipeline, following a review last year, but no major new regulations are on the immediate horizon.

On the other hand, the UK’s planned departure from the European Union in March 2019 has the potential to create a whole new diverging regulatory regime, and a significant proportion of European energy trading is UK-based.

Mennta Energy Solutions, a leading instructor-led and online energy training provider, released a short course covering MiFID II and its implications in more depth.

February 2018 - eNewsletters

The latest February 2018 editions of The Energy Education Pipeline eNewsletter are now available.

"I have attended countless successful public and private energy training courses over the past decade with Mennta Energy Solutions (formerly Mennta Energy Solutions).  However, last week I assisted on a private presentation of Oil Trading Orientation (OTO) that absolutely blew me away!  While a lot goes into a successful course, the difference between a good course and a great course comes down to delegate enthusiasm. So, I had to ask - what got them so excited about the course?  Here is what they told me:

Instructor credentials
      - Having an instructor with an established track record in the industry created early buy-in from the participants.

      - Lecturing is unavoidable in a classroom setting but weaving real-life stories into the presentation made all the difference.

Interactive exercises
      - Real-life case studies, exercises and simulations reinforced the material for a fun and VERY competitive atmosphere!

Join one of..."

February 2018  - North American Edition

February 2018  - International Edition

February 2018  - Asia Pacific Edition

If you do not get our eNewsletters sent directly to your inbox, you can sign-up here.

January 2018 - eNewsletters

The latest January 2018 editions of The Energy Education Pipeline eNewsletter are now available.

"Millions of people around the world rang in the New Year with a resolution to improve themselves in one way or another.  As a company, we welcomed 2018 with a new brand, Mennta Energy Solutions, to further cement our commitment to deliver diverse and globally relevant training solutions to the energy industry!

Most likely, re-branding your company is not an option.  However, for a moment, think of yourself and career as a brand.  Consider how your ‘brand’ as an energy professional will expand and increase in value when you:

    - Gain new experience
    - Diversify your skillset
    - Meet new industry peers
    - Encounter new challenges

A great start to growing your professional brand would be..."

January 2018  - North American Edition

January 2018  - International Edition

January 2018  - Asia-Pacific Edition

If you do not get our eNewsletters sent directly to your inbox, you can sign-up here.

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Mennta Energy Solutions (formerly The Oxford Princeton Programme, Inc.) is not affiliated with Princeton University, Oxford University, or Oxford University Press.