UPDATE 3-Nigeria anti-graft agency probes 12 oil execs

* EFCC says arrests linked to $100 mln bribery probe

* Transocean says cooperating with authorities
(Adds comment from Noble)

LAGOS, Jan 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Nigeria’s anti-graft agency said
on Thursday it had questioned 12 oil executives from firms
including Noble Corp (NE.N: ), Tidewater (TDW.N: ) and Transocean
(RIGN.VX: ) over an alleged $100 million bribery scheme.

It said the executives were arrested in a series of raids
this week and had been questioned in connection with
allegations that their firms were involved in offering bribes
totalling $100 million to Nigerian officials.

“The travel documents of some of the executives have
already been seized pending the conclusion of investigations,”
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in a
statement.

Executives from Lagos-based Murphy Shipping Company were
also among those arrested, the EFCC said.

Transocean said it was aware of the issue.

“We are in contact with the Nigerian authorities and we’re
cooperating with them,” said spokesman Guy Cantwell.

A spokesman for Noble said four of its employees were
detained on Monday and released the same day. The company said
it too was cooperating with the government.

The EFCC dropped bribery charges against firms last year,
including U.S. oil services firm Halliburton (HAL.N: ) after it
agreed to pay a fine. The agency gave no further details of the
case against Noble, Tidewater, Transocean and Murphy Shipping.
(For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the
top issues, visit: http://af.reuters.com/ )
(Reporting by Nick Tattersall in Lagos, additional reporting
by Anna Driver in Houston; editing by James Jukwey)