The European Commission has terminated the investigation into price collusion in the oil market


Moscow. December 18. The European Commission has terminated the investigation into potential collusion of oil companies for the purpose of manipulating energy prices, which involved, in particular, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Statoil and the energy information Agency Platts.

As reported by Bloomberg, European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso, the regulator is no longer conducting an investigation concerning possible manipulation of benchmark oil prices.

According to him, the Commission now focused on “price benchmarking for the sector of ethanol”. Earlier this month the regulator started a formal investigation in respect of such producers of ethanol, Abengoa, Alcogroup and Lantmaennen.

The investigation of the European Commission in respect of oil companies suspected of colluding to manipulate oil prices that began in may 2013. Requests for information were sent to the giants such as Glencore, Vitol, Gunvor and Mercuria. The searches were held in the offices of Shell, Platts, Statoil, BP, Spanish Abengoa.

According to Bloomberg and other media reports, the European Commission indirectly pushed to action a complaint of a Hungarian ethanol producer Pannonia Ethanol in late 2012. Thus the Pannonia argues that the complaint was specifically about access to Platts in the area of trade in ethanol, which the company could not get more than a year.

However, the publications clarify that Platts, apparently, have not responded adequately to formal requests for disclosure of pricing in the energy market, which resulted in a larger-scale investigation, during which regulators had every reason to suspect major oil companies are in cahoots.

Platts is an independent information Agency of the USA in the composition of the media holding McGraw-Hill Companies, already more than a hundred years, is the largest and one of the most authoritative sources of information about the energy industry, services, marketing and energy analysis of the.

In particular, the reference prices published by the Agency, are used to determine purchase prices of crude oil for the refinery, diesel fuel and gasoline for distribution companies. According to estimates France’s Total, more than 80% of the world deals with energy in one form or another are based on the Platts information, including for oil – 95%, oil – 90%.

A Shell representative stated that it welcomed the European Commission’s decision to terminate the investigation, noting his “serious approach to compliance with Antimonopoly legislation and other regulatory provisions”.

The message Statoil notes that the European Commission has confirmed the company’s termination of the investigation. “Statoil has said since inspections in may 2013 that did not participate in the manipulation of prices,” – said in a statement.