BP and Shell accused of rigging oil prices for over a decade

BP and Shell are being investigated into allegations they colluded to rig oil prices for more than a decade.

BP and Shell are being investigated into allegations they colluded to rig oil prices for more than a decade.

The European Commission raided offices of several oil companies in London, the Netherlands and Norway in an unannounced inspection to look to claims they conspired to "distorted prices to a price reporting agency [PRA] to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products".

The commission said the allegations could have had a major impact on the price of petrol, potentially harming the end consumer, The Guardian reported. The alleged price collusion is said to have been going on since 2002.

Lord Oakeshott, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, demanded to know why the UK authorities had not taken action earlier and said he would ask questions of the British regulator in Parliament.

"Why have we had to wait for Brussels to find out if British oil giants are ripping off British consumers?" he asked. "The price of energy ripples right through our economy and really matters to every business and families."

The Office of Fair Trading had ruled out an investigation into petrol price fixing four months back due to "very limited evidence".

European authorities declined to name the companies raided but BP, Shell, Norway's Statoil and Platts, all confirmed they are being investigated.

In a statement, Shell said: "We can confirm that Shell companies are currently assisting the European commission in an inquiry into trading activities."

Meanwhile, BP said: "BP is one of the companies that is subject to an investigation that was announced by the European commission. We are co-operating fully with the investigation and unable to comment further at this time."

RD

Recommended

Share tips of the week – 22 October
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 22 October

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
22 Oct 2021
Three dividend stocks from the dynamic Asia/Pacific region
Share tips

Three dividend stocks from the dynamic Asia/Pacific region

Professional investor Sat Duhra of the Henderson Far East Income investment trust highlights three of his favourite stocks.
18 Oct 2021
Share tips of the week – 15 October
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 15 October

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
15 Oct 2021
Trading: stash the family cash in this cheap wealth management firm
Trading

Trading: stash the family cash in this cheap wealth management firm

Wealth management is a growth market. Rathbone Brothers should be a prime beneficiary – and looks cheap. Matthew Partridge explains the best way to pl…
12 Oct 2021

Most Popular

How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy
Energy

How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy

The government has started to roll out its plans for switching us over from fossil fuels to hydrogen and renewable energy. Should investors buy in? St…
8 Oct 2021
How to invest in SMRs – the future of green energy
Energy

How to invest in SMRs – the future of green energy

The UK’s electricity supply needs to be more robust for days when the wind doesn’t blow. We need nuclear power, says Dominic Frisby. And the future of…
6 Oct 2021
Properties for sale for around £1m
Houses for sale

Properties for sale for around £1m

From a stone-built farmhouse in the Snowdonia National Park, to a Victorian terraced house close to London’s Regent’s Canal, eight of the best propert…
15 Oct 2021