Oneok settles bogus trading allegations for $3 million


Wednesday, January 28th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Utility owner Oneok Inc. has agreed to pay $3 million to settle allegations that its energy traders sought to manipulate natural gas prices by reporting false data to industry publications.

Oneok admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement announced Wednesday with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Tulsa-based company said it has no evidence that its bogus reporting affected index prices.

``We are pleased the settlement reached now closes the CFTC investigation of Oneok, and it allows our company to move forward,'' said David Kyle, chairman, president and chief executive.

The company revealed in October that some of its energy traders had reported bogus trade prices to industry publications that compile price indexes used to value long-term natural gas contracts.

The CFTC subpoenaed Oneok a year ago in its investigation that has focused on numerous energy trading companies, including Williams Cos., which paid $20 million last summer in a similar settlement.