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A worker starts to clean up the oil that threatened Lake Conway after a crude oil pipeline ruptured Friday afternoon, March 29, 2013 in Mayflower, Ark.
A worker starts to clean up the oil that threatened Lake Conway after a crude oil pipeline ruptured Friday afternoon, March 29, 2013 in Mayflower, Ark.
(Angela Spencer/AP)

CARL MORTISHED

Oil-fixing probe risks further muddying the waters

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It’s that old oil cartel again. David Cameron, the British Prime Minister thumped the table yesterday, threatening to introduce criminal sanctions against oil market rigging. His bark was a bit late because the European Commission has already bitten, or at least swooped. Earlier this week, the Commission’s anti-trust officials conducted dawn raids on three European oil majors, searching for evidence that crude oil traders had colluded in fixing benchmark prices quoted by Platts, the oil price reporting agency. Consumer and motoring lobbyists are demanding the scalps of big oil, but no one seems to have any good ideas about how to run a better oil market.