Monday, July 22, 2024

US Senate begins investigation into suspicions of price collusion between OPEC and Big Oil

Heading: US Senate Investigating Collusion Between Domestic Oil Producers and OPEC

The budget committee of the US Senate has launched an investigation into suspicions of collusion between several domestic oil producers and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) regarding potential price adjustments and coordination. The investigation, which aims to oversee federal spending, involves examining the activities and communications of nearly 20 oil and gas producers.

The inquiry was initiated after Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse alleged that energy giants like ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips, along with several smaller companies, were colluding with OPEC. While major companies like BP and Shell did not offer immediate comments, others such as APA Corporation, Chesapeake Energy, and Hess were named in the statement.

Whitehouse, the committee chairman, has requested these companies to provide any communications they have had with OPEC since January 2020. This move follows the Federal Trade Commission’s accusation against the former CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources Company for attempting to collude with OPEC based on electronic messages, which the CEO has denied.

The Senate plans to question the companies about any efforts to coordinate production policies with OPEC members and has asked for information on communications related to oil production output and prices from the beginning of 2020. The committee also seeks details on interactions with OPEC+ producers.

This investigation sheds light on the complex relationships between oil producers and regulatory bodies, raising questions about potential market manipulation and its impact on global oil prices. Stay tuned for more updates on this evolving story.

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