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Core Lab reports DOJ declination in Unaoil probe

An Amsterdam-based oil services company said in a U.S. securities filing Wednesday that the DOJ has closed its investigation about the company's "interactions with Unaoil."

The Justice Department "has closed its inquiry without taking any action," Core Laboratories N.V. said in a Form 10-Q filed on October 25 and first posted on FCPA Tracker.

An SEC investigation about Unaoil that Core Lab referred to in a disclosure in February this year may still be pending. The company didn't mention the SEC investigation in its filing Wednesday.

Core Laboratories was one of about a dozen companies named in a report in March 2016 by the Huffington Post and Fairfax Media.

The report alleged that Monaco-based Unaoil paid bribes on behalf of large companies in the oil and gas sector.

Core Lab first disclosed the DOJ investigation in May 2016.

In Wednesday's disclosure, it said: "The [DOJ] appreciates the Company’s cooperation during the investigation.”

In addition to Core Lab, HuffPo named FMC Technologies, Rolls-Royce, and Weatherford as "beneficiaries of Unaoil’s network in the Middle East."

Also named were Saipem, MAN Turbo, SBM Offshore, ABB, Cameron/Natco, Leighton Offshore, and Petrofac, among others.

Petrofac is under investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office. The company said in May this year that it suspended its chief operating officer during the corruption investigation

KBR and FMC Technologies have also disclosed DOJ investigations connected with Unaoil.

Police in Monaco raided Unaoil's offices after the Huffington Post/Fairfax Media report appeared.

Unaoil has denied the bribery allegations.

HuffPo and Fairfax Media said their report was based on leaked Unaoil emails and memos.

Core Lab has more than 70 offices in about 50 oil-producing countries. It uses technology to help oil producers increase total recovery from existing fields.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.