May 10, 2007 10:00 AM, EDT

Feds Probing Oil-Trading Practices

Federal regulators are looking into possible manipulation of crude oil prices by after-hours trading practices, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The move came to light in regulatory filings, the paper said, including one by Marathon Oil Corp. that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission was recommending enforcement action against one of its units.

Marathon told the Journal it intends to “vigorously defend” itself from the action.

The move came amid growing regulatory scrutiny of energy trading markets, especially with prices soaring, the paper reported.