US lawsuit against oil majors on price fixing gains momentum

Suzie Neuwirth
A US judicial panel is expected to make a decision in a matter of days on where the consolidated lawsuits by US trading firms against oil giants BP, Shell and Statoil will be heard, City A.M. understands.

Around ten plaintiffs, including Chicago-based commodity trading house Prime International Trading, individually sued the oil majors earlier in the year for alleged manipulation of oil prices by relaying false information to price reporting agency Platts, dating back to the year 2000 until the present.

Plans to consolidate the cases have been ongoing, with all but one filed in New York.

The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heard arguments for where the combined lawsuit should be transferred on 26 September in Philadelphia.

The panel will make a decision on where the consolidated cases will be heard in the next few days, with New York a likely jurisdiction.

The lawsuits followed the European Commission’s investigation into the oil majors for alleged price manipulation back in May. BP, Shell and Platts declined to comment. Statoil did not respond to requests for comment.