Speculators not responsible for spike in oil prices, says InterContinental Exchange

The InterContinental Exchange (ICE), which operates global commodity and financial products marketplaces - including the world's leading electronic energy markets - has said it is cooperating with regulators in their effort to restrain speculation in oil trading. The Atlanta-based company, however, insists that speculation is not the reason for soaring oil prices.

With consumer patience beginning to wear thin at the galloping price of oil, trading in oil futures is beginning to come under attack from various sections of society - consumers, politicians and industry leaders – concerned that speculation is actually driving gasoline prices sky high.

ICE,  which operates a number of commodities trading exchanges, including a major oil futures exchange based in London, now finds itself caught in the cross fire.

In their testimony before US Senate panels, company executives said last week, and also Monday, that they did not believe that excessive speculation was responsible for the spike in prices. Warning against ''legislative interference" the company also said that it did not oppose new oversight of its London exchange, as part of an effort to keep a lid on trading that might affect the market.

"There is no evidence that regulators or researchers have found demonstrating that excessive speculation is driving crude oil prices," said Sarah Stashak, an ICE spokeswoman.

According to Stashak, supply and demand, along with a weak dollar and geopolitical concerns have spiked prices.