The trading staff hold portfolios focussed on BP?s oil sales to Chinese customers.

BP Plc has placed some personnel from its Singapore-based crude oil team on leave after they were mentioned in court documents filed in disputes between banks and other trading houses, said people with knowledge of the company?s move.

Three members of the trading staff and one manager were placed on leave late last week as internal investigations are being conducted, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The trading staff hold portfolios focussed on BP?s oil sales to Chinese customers, whilst the manager overlooks crude trading in Asia, the people said.

BP isn?t accused of wrongdoing. The oil major was named in court filings made by local units of CIMB Bank Bhd. and Natixis SA against Hontop Energy (Singapore) and Sugih Energy International?now renamed as Aeturnum Energy International. The banks claimed they found themselves in a $266.61 m (US$192m) hole from funding crude oil deals involving these companies.