European officials launch oil-price probe

Officials of the European Commission and European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority made unannounced inspections at offices of BP, Shell, Statoil, and Platts in a step the EC described as “a preliminary step to investigate suspected anticompetitive practices.”

The EC didn’t name the companies in an announcement of the May 14 move, but the companies confirmed they had been targeted.

“The commission has concerns that the companies may have colluded in reporting distorted prices to a price-reporting agency to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products,” the announcement said. “Furthermore, the commission has concerns that the companies may have prevented others from participating in the price-assessment process with a view to distorting published prices.”

The EC pointed out that that prices published by price reporting agencies, such as Platts, serve as benchmarks in physical and financial trading of oil and oil products.

“Even small distortions of assessed prices may have a huge impact on the prices of crude oil, refined oil products, and biofuels purchases and sales, potentially harming final consumers,” it said.

It said it faces no legal deadline in completing its inquiry.

Related Articles

Judge bars Anadarko e-mails as evidence in Macondo blowout hearing

03/21/2014 A federal district judge in New Orleans refused to accept e-mails between Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and BP PLC as evidence in a hearing to determine...

Industry group welcomes most UK budget moves

03/21/2014 Oil & Gas UK voiced support for all but one of several measures affecting the offshore producing industry announced in the UK government’s annu...

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil, gas futures prices slide entering spring

03/21/2014

The first day of spring in the northern hemisphere was marked by lower crude oil and natural gas futures prices.

OMV acquires West of Shetland licenses from Hess

03/21/2014 OMV AG has reached an agreement with Hess Corp. to acquire four licenses in West of Shetland, UK, including Cambo field and the Blackrock prospect,...

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