Feds Hunt for Scams in Crude Oil Trading

Speculators may be driving up crude by manipulation
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2008 7:55 AM CDT
An oil pump bobs up and down in the Sakhir, Bahrain, desert. Federal regulators are investigating whether crude oil prices are being illegally manipulated by speculators.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Federal regulators are investigating whether rocketing oil prices are being driven up by speculators manipulating futures markets, reports the Wall Street Journal. The nationwide probe involves several separate investigations. Authorities suspect that a widely used price reporting system may be artificially influenced and that some oil storage facilities may be falsely reporting supplies.

"It's important that people who are paying high gas prices understand the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is on the case," said a commodities commissioner. "We're deeply investigating any potential abuse. The next important step for us is to slice and dice and beat up the data." (Read more oil price stories.)