Specter, Kohl introduce antitrust reform bill

Nick Snow
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 7 -- Senate Judiciary Committee leaders and members introduced an antitrust reform bill Apr. 6 that is directed at US oil and gas companies and overseas producers.

The bill, cosponsored by committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and member Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), would require federal antitrust regulators to consider whether future oil company mergers need closer scrutiny.

It also would make it possible for members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to be sued for conspiring to control crude oil output and fix prices.

The provision, known as "No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels" (NOPEC), has emerged as a separate bill the past few congressional sessions from the Judiciary Committee's antitrust, competition, and consumer rights subcommittee.

It cleared the committee three times and was approved by the full Senate in 2005 but did not make it past negotiations with the House and the administration of President George W. Bush.

The bill also would establish a joint federal-state task force to examine if information shared between oil companies has contributed to anticompetitive pricing. The legislation also would make it illegal for oil and gas producers to withhold supplies to drive up prices.

Specter said the legislation is needed as US motorists face the prospect of having to pay $3/gal for gasoline this summer. The committee held hearings on Feb. 1 and Mar. 14 to examine whether there was a link between oil industry consolidation and higher prices.

"Over 2,600 mergers have occurred in the US petroleum industry since the 1990s, including transactions involving the largest oil and gas companies in the nation. With the high fuel prices the American consumer is enduring, it is time for an examination of what oil and gas industry consolidations have done to prices," Specter said.

"This legislation takes a firm stand in an attempt to protect the American consumer from enormous increases in gasoline prices and oil prices," he maintained.

Cosponsors include Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee's chief minority member; Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), chairman of the committee's antitrust, business rights, and competition subcommittee; and members Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Contact Nick Snow at nsnow@cox.net.

Related Articles

Comstock to suspend 2015 oil drilling in Eagle Ford, TMS

12/19/2014 Due to low crude oil prices, Comstock Resources Inc., Frisco, Tex., plans to suspend its 2015 oil-directed drilling activity on properties in the E...

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...

BASF, Gazprom cancel asset swap

12/19/2014

BASF and OAO Gazprom have agreed not to complete an asset swap that was scheduled for yearend.

AWE pulls out of Otway permit

12/19/2014 AWE Ltd., Sydbey, has decided to pull out of Perth-based junior WHL Energy Ltd.’s offshore Otway Basin permit Vic-P67 after a series of time extens...

Marathon cuts 2015 budget amid ‘current price environment’

12/18/2014 Marathon Oil Corp. expects to spend $4.3-4.5 billion in its capital, investment, and exploration budget for 2015. That total represents a 20% decli...

Patel appointed as LyondellBasell’s chief executive officer

12/18/2014 LyondellBasell has chosen Bhavesh V. Patel to serve as its chief executive officer effective Jan. 12, 2015. He succeeds James L. Gallogly, who...

MEG Energy cuts capital spending for 2015 to $305 million (Can.) from $1.2 billion

12/18/2014

MEG Energy Corp., Calgary, is reducing its 2015 capital spending plans to $305 million (Can.) from the original budget of $1.2 billion.

Cooper to buy 50% of offshore Gippsland Sole gas field

12/17/2014 Cooper Energy Ltd., Adelaide, has bought a 50% interest in the offshore Gippsland Sole dry gas field in retention lease Vic/RL3 as well as 50% of t...

Turkish refinery secures Canadian financing

12/16/2014 Export Development Canada (EDC) said it is participating as lead arranger in the $3.3 billion debt-financing consortium supporting STAR Rafineri AS...

White Papers

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

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


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


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

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