OPEC/Big Oil price collusion suspicions: US Senate starts investigation

The budget committee of the US Senate has started an investigation into suspicions of collusion between several domestic oil producers & OPEC

Story By Ed Pearcey |Global Data|via Yahoo News| The budget committee of the US Senate has started an investigation into suspicions of collusion between several domestic oil producers and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) over possible price adjustment and coordination.

According to a statement released on Friday, the committee, which oversees federal spending, will examine the activities and communications of almost 20 oil and gas producers.

The investigation was prompted by Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s claims last week that energy giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips and several smaller companies were colluding with the Vienna-based policy body.

According to several US news outlets, the three major energy companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, two other big companies, BP and Shell, declined to comment.

The other companies named in the statement were APA Corporation, Chesapeake Energy, Continental Resources, Crownquest, Diamondback Energy, Endeavor, EOG Resources, Hess, Marathon, Occidental, Ovintiv, Permian Resources, and SM Energy.

Whitehouse, chairman of the committee wrote to the companies demanding that they turn over any communications they have had with OPEC from 1 January 2020 until the present day.

Whitehouse’s letter came just a few weeks after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused the former CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources Company of attempting to collude with OPEC after the release of electronic messages.

Scott Sheffield, who has denied all the allegations, stated that the FTC did not allow him to explain himself or ask questions about the communications. His counsel said requests made were for already public information.

The Senate said it would demand answers from 18 companies about any attempts to coordinate production policy with OPEC members.

The Senate has requested that companies provide communications between employees and representatives of OPEC “concerning oil production output, crude oil prices, and the relationship between the production and pricing of oil products, dating from January 1, 2020 through the present”.

The committee also asks the companies for any information they may have had with OPEC+ producers.

STORY CREDIT: “OPEC/Big Oil price collusion suspicions: US Senate starts investigation” was originally created and published by Power Technology, a GlobalData-owned brand.

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