BP has confirmed reports that it is being investigated by US authorities. They are looking into whether Europe’s second-largest oil company manipulated the markets for crude and petrol in 2003 and 2004. The inquiry has reportedly been underway for more than a year with energy traders and BP officials summoned to give evidence under oath. This is the latest in a series of investigations into BP businesses in the US.
They include allegations of manipulation of propane gas prices there and a deadly explosion last year at the firm’s oil refinery in Texas. Company executives have also been summoned to appear before a US Congressional committee next week over spills at the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska after serious corrosion was discovered in pipelines there. In September 2003 BP paid almost two million euros to the New York Mercantile Exchange to resolve charges of crude-oil trading violations in 2001 and 2002.
BP neither admitted nor denied breaking the exchange’s rules in that settlement.