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BP: US Regulators Probing Alleged Natural-Gas Market Manipulation

Published Wednesday, 2nd February 2011 04:46 am - © 2011 Dow Jones


HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) said Tuesday that federal regulators are investigating the company for alleged manipulation of the natural-gas market in 2008.

The U.K. oil giant said in a securities filing that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission are looking into trading conducted by several BP entities in the next-day natural-gas market at the Houston Ship Channel in October and November 2008.

Last November, both agencies told BP that they concluded the company broke the law by attempting to manipulate the market; FERC said it will determine whether to pursue the investigation, close it, or seek a settlement, according to the BP filing.

CFTC staff told the company it intended to recommend charges against the company. BP said it provided both agencies with a detailed response to their claims, arguing that "it did not engage in any inappropriate or unlawful activity."

BP spokesman Scott Dean said the company "conducts its trading and transportation activities in compliance with the law and regulations," and that it has "fully cooperated with the FERC and the CFTC investigations."

-By Angel Gonzalez, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9214;

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