The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

BP not the only oil company under investigation

When BP closed down the Prudhoe Bay pipeline for extensive corrosion, it seemed to surprise a lot of people to learn that their operations there were already under investigation for an oil spill earlier this year linked to negligence in maintaining the pipeline.

Now it's being reported that Halliburton is under investigation by UK officials for paying out huge bribes in Nigeria to land contracts there-- an operation that began while Dick Cheney was still with the company.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into an alleged Nigerian bribery scandal has taken on a number of new twists, according to information disclosed in the Financial Times in London.

The investigations centre on Halliburton, a US company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in particular, on one of its subsidiaries, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR). The SFO probe followed criticism that London authorities were doing little on the case even though a British-based company and a British lawyer were allegedly at the centre of a plot to pay more than $170m of bribes to win $7bn of building contracts. (. . .)

The most substantial political dimension of the case, so far, is that it relates in part to the period between 1995 and 2000 when Halliburton was headed by Dick Cheney, incumbent US vice-president. Halliburton became involved in the Nigerian consortium through its 1998 takeover of Dresser Industries, after the first gas plant building contract was signed but before later project expansion deals were agreed.