US reveals six-month-old probe into price manipulation by oil firms
With US petrol prices at all time highs, US regulators Thursday revealed a six-month-old investigation into possible price manipulation by oil companies that have incurred record profits over the past year, dpa reported.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission in a brief statement said it was disclosing its investigation due to "today's unprecedented market conditions."
The CTFC said it was examining the purchase, transportation, storage and trading of crude oil, which has reached record highs of more than 130 dollars per barrel in the past week.
Congressional Democrats have long been clamouring for an investigation into possible price fixing and other abuses by oil companies that have benefited from the high energy prices.
Energy executives appearing before congressional committees argued that high petrol prices were out of their control - the result of crude oil costs and higher energy demands.
"The agency continues to pursue one of its primary missions - to deter, detect and punish futures market manipulation," CFTC Acting Chairman Walt Lukken and other commissioners said in a statement.