Lawsuit says BP, Shell, others rig Brent crude prices

|About: BP p.l.c. (BP)|By:, SA News Editor

BP, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Statoil (STO) have been manipulating the Brent crude oil price for more than a decade, according to allegations in a class-action lawsuit brought by four longtime Nymex traders.

The claim was lodged last month in the wake of the European Commission in May launching an investigation into alleged price rigging by the companies.

The new lawsuit appears to contain more detailed descriptions of the alleged manipulation practices; the traders say one method to rig prices is “spoofing,” or creating an order to move the market with the intention of canceling it later.

A STO spokesperson says it isn't unusual to see lawsuits filed after investigations by government agencies; the other companies have declined to comment.