16 May 2013
Reacting to the unfolding oil price fixing investigations of BP and Shell, Platform oil campaigner Mika Minio-Paluello said:
“The scale of the likely market-rigging by BP and Shell is shocking but unsurprising. BP and Shell have a record of making massive profits at the expense of the public by either price-fixing or tax-avoidance.
Their trading floors seem to think themselves to be above the law and are largely hidden from the public eye, speculating on billions of pounds worth of crude every day. BP has been found repeatedly guilty in the US of manipulating oil prices and markets, paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines, while Shell misled its own shareholders over its reserves for many years. Both companies have been shown to avoid paying due taxes to the public.
We are surprised, but relieved, that an investigation has finally been opened. This type of behaviour seems to have been going on for years. The fact that BP and Shell got away with minimal scrutiny for so long highlights the hold they have over British politics. Investigations by the Office of Fair Trading have been toothless, without necessary investigatory resources.
Politicians in the UK have no appetite for confronting the power of oil companies. Most government ministers have vested interests in the oil and mining industries. Instead, ordinary people from the UK to Nigeria end up footing the bill.”