A major British firm accused on Thursday of rigging petrol, diesel and petro-chemical engineering has been hit with criminal charges in the US.
Key points:Royal Dutch Shell said it is cooperating with the criminal investigation by US authoritiesKey pointsPetroleum engineer Paul Stoddart, 52, was charged in the UKThe company is one of several oil firms linked to the oil price crashThe company, which has about 30,000 employees worldwide, has not commented on the allegationsThe allegations against Stoddardt were first reported by Reuters, which said the arrest of the engineering and research executive came days after Shell said its senior executive Paul Stoodley had been arrested in the United States.
The UK- based company is part of the global oil and gas sector.
It is a major player in the global petro chemicals industry, with more than 25,000 staff worldwide.
In a statement, Shell said the firm was cooperating with a criminal investigation and would not comment further.
The company has about 3,000 UK-registered engineers and scientists, and employs more than 4,500 people in the region.
The arrest came as the US Justice Department filed criminal charges against the head of a major petro chemical company, accusing him of rigging the price of petroleum.
The Justice Department said in a court filing on Thursday that the oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, was also being investigated for conspiring to rig the price.
The charges were filed against Paul Stoudley, the company’s senior executive, and two other executives.
Shell’s chief executive, Bob Dudley, said in the statement the company was cooperating fully with the investigation.
“Shell is not a party to any criminal charges, nor is it involved in any investigation or proceeding,” he said.
“We are cooperating fully to the investigation and are committed to doing everything we can to cooperate fully with authorities in this matter.”
The charges come after the US authorities issued a warning that the petro business could face serious economic consequences if it continues to increase its reliance on cheap oil.
The US government has said that as many as 1.5 million Americans could lose their jobs if oil prices stay low.
The crackdown on the petrodollar could also have long-term implications for the world economy, as it could further drive the petrolexturing of American oil.
Petrochemical companies are the backbone of the world’s economy.
They produce about 70% of the energy used in the world, and about half of the country’s oil.
Stoodley, who has been working for the company since 2013, was arrested by US officials in Texas on Wednesday on charges he was part of a conspiracy to rig petro markets, the Justice Department’s office of the United STATES Attorney said.
He is accused of scheming with his bosses to rig prices for the petrol and diesel markets.
Shell is also facing a criminal probe in the case of a former employee of a company that Shell purchased for $4.5bn in 2006.
The employee, who was not named in the charging document, is accused in the criminal case of conspiring to illegally manipulate petro market prices.
The investigation by the US Department of Justice into the alleged rigging of petro price prices has been going on for several years.
The Justice Department says Stoodleys alleged crime was not the first time that the company has had a criminal charge brought against it.
The case against Stoody’s employer, Royal Oil, is ongoing, the statement said.
Stoddart was arrested in New York on Tuesday after US prosecutors said he was arrested at a residence on Staten Island, New York.
He was charged with conspiracy to defraud, conspiring to commit wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office.