From the December 01, 2007 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

BP ends gas pain

BP Products North America Inc. (BP) agreed to pay the largest manipulation settlement in the history of the CFTC, totaling $303 million, to settle charges of manipulating and attempting to manipulate the TET propane market.

“This case demonstrates that the CFTC will aggressively combat manipulation in the nation’s energy markets. Disrupting the energy markets hurts American consumers, and traders who engage in such misconduct face serious consequences,” said Walt Lukken, CFTC acting chairman.

BP will return $53 million to victims; pay a $125 million civil monetary penalty to the CFTC, and will be required to establish a compliance and ethics program and install a monitor to oversee BP’s trading activities. In addition, BP will pay $100 million in a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice and will pay $25 million into a consumer fraud fund.

“This settlement acknowledges our failure to adequately oversee our trading operation,” said Robert A. Malone, chairman and president of BP America. “The agreement provides compensation for victims and establishes a foundation for working with the government to ensure our participation in the nation’s energy markets is always appropriate. We are determined to restore the trust of regulators in our trading operations.”

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