(NOW UPDATED WITH 98 PAGE DOCUMENT FILED 24 APRIL 2015 WITH THE U.S. COURTS)
A 194 page Complaint filed in the US Courts two months ago confirms that investigations are underway by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the EU Commission and the UK Serious Fraud Office into an alleged oil price-fixing conspiracy involving Shell, BP, Statoil and others.
The plaintiffs provide what they describe as “concrete evidence” within the Complaint of oil price manipulation.
A link to the entire 194 page document is provided.
Extracts from 194 page Court document dated 27 Feb 2015
SECOND AMENDED CONSOLIDATED CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT FILED 27 FEBRUARY 2015
Case 1:13-md-02475-ALC Document 308 Filed 02/27/15
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
I. NATURE OF THE ACTION
1. This action arises from manipulations of North Sea Brent Crude Oil Market (defined herein) by Defendants Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (“STASCO”), Shell Trading US Company, BP pic (“BP”), BP America, Inc., BP Corporation North America Inc., Statoil ASA (“Statoil”), Statoil US Holdings Inc. (“Statoil US”), Morgan Stanley Capital Group, Inc. (“MSCGI”), Trafigura Beheer B.V., Trafigura AG, Phibro Trading LLC (“Phibro”), Phibro Commodities Limited, Vitol, S.A. (“Vitol”), Vitol, Inc., Hess Energy Trading Company, LLC (“HETCO”), Mercuria Energy Trading S.A., Mercuria Energy Trading, Inc., (collectively, “Defendants”) since at least 2002 through the present (the “Class Period”).
2. During the Class Period, Defendants monopolized the Brent Crude Oil market and entered into unlawful combinations, agreements, and conspiracies to fix and restrain trade in, and intentionally manipulate Brent Crude Oil prices and the prices of Brent Crude Oil futures and derivative contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange (“NYMEX”) and the Intercontinental Exchange (“ICE”) in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended 7 U.S.C. § 1, et seq. (the “CEA”), the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 and 2, and common law. Plaintiffs (as defined herein), individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated derivatives traders, bring this action for damages, and injunctive relief pursuant to Sections 4 and 16 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15 and 26, for injuries that Plaintiffs and all other Class members suffered as a result of the Defendants’ violations of these laws.
10. Plaintiffs detail herein concrete evidence of manipulation by all Defendants of prices during the Platts MOC Window, including through significant transactions that caused artificial prices and artificial pricing trends during several specific periods – June 2010, the first two months of 2011, and September 2012. During these periods, Defendants engaged in disruptive and manipulative trading during the Platts MOC Window at least in part to benefit their Brent Crude Oil derivatives positions.
15. After the EC confirmed on May 14, 2013, that it had carried out unannounced inspections of several companies acting in and providing services to the crude oil, refined oil products, and biofuels sectors, on May 17,2013, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced that it was “urgently reviewing” the EC’s allegations of price-fixing in the oil markets and determining whether to accept the case for “criminal investigation.” Then, on June 24, 2013, the media reported that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission “(“FTC”) opened a formal investigation into how prices of crude oil and petroleum- derived products are set. The FTC investigation reportedly mirrors the EC inquiry into the pricing practices of energy markets.
17. BP, Shell and Statoil have confirmed that they are subjects of the European Commission investigation.
MOST RECENT FILING WITH THE COURT: 24 April 2015
Traders Seen Mispricing Oil as Spending Slump Signals Crunch: Bloomberg: 28 April 2015