Statoil CEO Says Company Has ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Rules Breaches

Statoil ASA Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund said the company, which the European Union is investigating for possible violation of EU competition law, has “zero tolerance” for breaches of the rules.

“We invest a huge amount of time in training our people to follow all the applicable rules and regulations in safety, in anti-corruption, in anti-competition and so on,” Lund said at a business conference in Brussels today. “We have zero tolerance for any breaches of those rules.”

Norway-based Statoil is among three of Europe’s biggest oil explorers -- along with Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc -- being probed by EU regulators about potential manipulation of prices in the $3.4 trillion-a-year global crude market. Platts, the oil-price data collector owned by McGraw Hill Financial Inc., is also a target in the inquiry.

Statoil said earlier this week that the suspected violations relate to prices published by Platts, which publishes benchmark prices used to determine the costs refiners pay for crude oil and distributors pay for diesel fuel and gasoline. Traders report transactions to Platts. Those deals, rather than a complete record of all trades, are used to determine the price.

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