RMI reacts to oil 'price fixing'

Industry outburst following raids on oil majors

Published:  16 May, 2013

THE RMI's Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA) has welcomed the move by the European Commission to investigate alleged oil price fixing by the major operators.

The PRA submitted a complaint on oil price fixing to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in January 2012.

Brian Madderson, PRA Chairman, commented "The UK's competition authority rejected industry calls from the PRA, supported by Robert Halfon MP and his cross-party group of backbenchers, to examine oil price and wholesale cost movements.

"Earlier this year the PRA drew attention to the eight pence per litre (ppl) increase in wholesale cost of petrol from end December to late February which could not be explained by new geo-political issues or other economic factors.

"More recently, our independent petrol retailers have seen wholesale costs move by over 5.2ppl in less than seven days. Such volatility has been a relatively new and unwelcome market phenomenon which cannot be explained to confused and irate customers on our forecourts."

Offices of Shell, BP and Statoil were raided in May as the European Commission investigated the claims. All three majors are cooperating, even though Statoils Norwegian HQ is not in the EU.

Madderson concluded: "Independent retailers hope this Europe led investigation will help to provide the proper price transparency that consumers and businesses deserve and need."

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