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Was the petrol price rigged too?
By Rowena Mason, Emma Rowley
9:00PM BST 15 Jul 2012
Concerns are growing about the reliability of oil prices, after a report for the G20 found the market is wide open to manipulation or distortion.
Traders from banks, oil companies or hedge funds have an incentive to distort the market and are likely to try to report false prices, it said.
Politicians and fuel campaigners last night urged the Government to expand its inquiry into the Libor scandal to see whether oil prices have also been falsely pushed up.
They warned any efforts to rig the oil price would affect how much drivers pay at the pump, which soared to a record high of 137p per litre of unleaded earlier this year.
Robert Halfon, who led a group of 100 MPs calling for lower fuel prices, said the matter needs to be looked at by the Bank of England urgently.
We need to know whether the oil price has been manipulated in a similar way to Libor, the MP for Harlow said. This impacts on millions of people all round the country concerned about the price of petrol at the pumps.
Petrol retailers use oil price benchmarks to decide how much to pay for future supplies.
The rate is calculated by data companies based on submissions from firms which trade oil on a daily basis such as banks, hedge funds and energy companies.
However, like Libor the interest rate measure that Barclays was earlier this month found to have rigged the market is unregulated and relies on the honesty of the firms to submit accurate data about all their trades.
This is one of the major concerns raised in the G20 report, published last month by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)....