Thursday, 18 November 2010

Schlumberger probed possible bribery in Yemen: report

Source: Reuters, 18/11/2010
Schlumberger Ltd, the world's largest oilfield services company, investigated bribery charges in Yemen that were reported by its employees, the Wall Street Journal said, citing internal company documents.

Employees raised concerns in 2008 about payments for cars Schlumberger rented from Yemeni government officials at above-market rates, the paper said.

Between 2005 and 2007, Schlumberger paid $6,000 a month to rent a Camry and two Corollas from Yemen's Petroleum Exploration and Production Authority committee member Ahmad Abdul Jaleel Al-Shameeri, the Journal said. The market rate for renting the cars was about $950 each per month, according to company documents cited by the paper.

The report on Schlumberger's actions in Yemen have surfaced as the U.S. Justice Department continues a probe into whether the company made improper payments to a government-related consulting firm there, the WSJ said.

Employees also cited a deal with customs broker Dhakwan Management Petroleum Co, whose chairman had ties to Yemen's president, the paper said. The company was aware of those contacts, internal emails showed, WSJ added.

Spokeswomen for the Justice Department and Schlumberger declined to comment to the Journal. Schlumberger and the Justice Department could not be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

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