Rachelle Younglai and Svea Herbst-Bayliss
Reuters
August 4, 2010

WASHINGTON/BOSTON – U.S. securities regulators are investigating whether people may have illegally profited from trading on nonpublic information at BP Plc in the weeks and months following the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, two sources familiar with the investigation said on Monday.

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating whether BP properly disclosed information on risks related to its deepwater oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the sources said.

For roughly two months after an explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, BP’s stock price dropped steadily and the company’s value fell by half.

The SEC probe is one of a number of investigations of the company and others tied to the spill. Congressional committees and a presidentially appointed panel are probing various aspects of the spill. The Justice Department is looking at potential civil and criminal violations of federal environmental laws.

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