MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The British oil giant BP has run into further trouble with its US operations. The company is now reported to be under federal investigation for allegedly manipulating the oil and gasoline markets. From London, Stephen Beard has more.
STEPHEN BEARD: Among the allegations is the claim that BP may have used inside information to influence the oil market. According to US press reports the company is also facing a criminal inquiry into gas price manipulation. These are just the latest woes. There’s also a case about propane price fixing and the company has to appear before Congress next week to talk about oil spills in Alaska. BP has certainly fallen foul of US regulators, says Justin Urquart-Stewart of Seven Investment:
JUSTIN URQUART-STEWART: The reason is that you get the spotlight on you. And once that spotlight appears then anything that is seemingly not to be whiter than white is shown up very clearly indeed.
The scrutiny may soon reach the very top of the company. The chief executive Lord Brown has has just been told he must testify in a case against BP following the fatal refinery explosion in Texas last year.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.