Edited time: November 06, 2013 18:53
A new law suit claims some of the world’s largest oil companies – including BP, Royal Dutch Shell, manipulated Brent Crude spot prices in collaboration with Morgan Stanley, Vitol Group, and other energy traders.
The plaintiffs accuse the companies of deliberately submitting false and misleading information about Brent prices to Platts, the energy and oil market news outlet, which is used by traders worldwide in daily transactions, Bloomberg reports.
“By providing false or inaccurate information and engaging in false or sham trading, defendants undermined the entire pricing structure for the Brent Crude Oil physical and futures markets,” the plaintiffs allege.
By fixing the North Sea oil benchmark, the oil companies and traders, not only manipulated the oil market, but petroleum, food, and other products that look to Brent as a guide for buying and selling across world exchanges.
Four traders – John Devivo, Robert Michiels, Anthony Insinga and Kevin McDonnell – filed the class act in a Manhattan court in New York on October 4.
Other companies accused of ‘fixing’ are Trafigura AG and Trafigura Beheer British Virgin Island, Dutch commodity trading firms, Phibro Trading LLC, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Vitol Group, a Swiss-based, Dutch-owned energy trader, S.A., and other unnamed traders.