SHELL, BP, Statoil, Morgan Stanley, Trafigura Beheer, Trafigura, Phibro Trading and Vitol were named as defendants yesterday in a case surrounding accusations of oil market manipulation.
Four NYMEX traders have alleged that the North Sea Brent crude oil market has been manipulated by oil majors and trading houses since at least 2002, in a class action they brought in the wake of a wide ranging European Commission inquiry.
In the filing, the plaintiffs allege that traders at these companies combined to manipulate Brent crude oil prices and Brent futures contracts traded on NYMEX, citing periods in February 2011 and September 2012.
Morgan Stanley, Trafigura, BP, Shell and Vitol declined to comment. A Statoil spokesman said it was not uncommon to see private US lawsuits filed following investigations by government agencies.
A spokesman for Phibro said the firm was not involved in the European inquiry: “Any claims that Phibro was involved in the activities being investigated by the commission are totally without merit and Phibro will vigorously defend itself.”
City A.M. Reporter