A former BP worker has accused his former employer of manipulating gas prices. Drew Sickinger, BP’s former head of gas liquids trading, has sued BP, claiming that the company fired him so that it could manipulate the market and gouge prices. The suit doesn’t specify how BP allegedly manipulated prices, only noting that the company tried to establish a dominant and controlling position in the market. BP has denied the allegations in the complaint.
This is not the first rodeo for the oil giant. BP has been accused of rigging gas prices before. U.S. regulators are investigating claims that BP manipulated the gas market in 2008. The company was also fined by the Justice Department for allegedly rigging the propane market in 2004. Other companies have also faced allegations of gas market manipulation. In November, the United Kingdom’s top financial regulator began investigating the possibility that traders were rigging prices for natural gas. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said in November that she would ask the Justice Department to investigate whether artificial shortages were responsible for prices surging to more than $4 per gallon on the West Coast in October.
Sources: Huffington Post, Bloomberg & Reuters