Nigeria summons Shell, Halliburton execs over graft

* Shell invite relates to $240 million case settled in U.S.

* Halliburton staff, MD called in after arrests last week

ABUJA, Nov 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Nigeria’s anti-corruption police
said on Tuesday they wanted to interview the country heads of
Shell (RDSa.L: ) and U.S. oil services firm Halliburton (HAL.N: ) as
part of investigations into two separate bribery cases.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) briefly
detained 10 Halliburton staff for questioning last week in
relation to a $180 million bribery case involving the U.S.
firm’s former unit KBR (KBR.N: ). [ID:nLDE6AQ0BH]

The companies split in 2007 and Halliburton has said it is
not connected with the case.
The Shell executive had been invited for questioning in
relation to a separate $240 million case settled by the oil
major and the Swiss logistics firm Panalpina (PWTN.S: ) in the
United States earlier this month, officials said. [ID:nN0494954]

“We have invited the MDs (managing directors) of Shell and
Halliburton as part of investigations in two separate bribery
cases,” EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said.

“The $240 million Shell bribery issue has been dealt with in
the U.S. and we are looking at the Nigeria end of things.”

Last month, the U.S. government said a Panalpina unit agreed
to plead guilty in its case, admitting to paying at least $27
million in bribes to officials in at least seven countries
including Nigeria, Brazil and Russia between 2002 and 2007 on
behalf of its oil and gas industry clients.

Shell’s Nigerian unit agreed to settle charges and pay $30
million in criminal penalties, the Justice Department said.

“We will cooperate fully with the (Nigerian) authorities in
any investigation that they may undertake but we will not
comment on specifics,” a Shell spokesman in Nigeria said.

The EFCC detained 10 Nigerian and expatriate Halliburton
staff for questioning last week as well as one senior employee
each from oil firms Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd (SPMI.MI: ) and
Technip Offshore Nigeria Ltd (TECF.PA: ).

Houston-based engineering firm KBR pleaded guilty last year
to U.S. charges that it paid $180 million in bribes between 1994
and 2004 to Nigerian officials to secure $6 billion in contracts
for the Bonny Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

KBR and Halliburton reached a $579 million settlement in the
United States but Nigeria, France and Switzerland have conducted
their own investigations into the case.

Halliburton said it was not involved in the LNG development,
its employees have never participated in any work on the project
and the EFCC raid last week had no legal basis.

It said its offices were ransacked and personnel assaulted
in the raid in what it said was “an affront against justice”.

(Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Nigeria summons Shell, Halliburton execs over graft