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Energy Trading Stressed by Margin Calls of $1.5 Trillion

  • Exchange requirements to secure trades is sucking up capital
  • Governments under pressure to provide market with liquidity
Equinor ASA platform in the Johan Sverdrup oilfield.

Equinor ASA platform in the Johan Sverdrup oilfield.

Photographer: Tom Little/AFP/Getty Images

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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.