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Tuesday
May302017

Another UK firm discloses Unaoil probe

British oilfield services company John Wood Group plc launched an internal investigation into its dealings with Unaoil, the company said in a prospectus.

The SFO opened a criminal investigation of Monaco-based Unaoil last year for suspected bribery.

Scotland-based John Wood Group or JWG disclosed the internal investigation in a prospectus last week for its proposed £2.2 billion takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler, another oil and gas services company.

The SFO has also requested information from Amec about its relationship with Unaoil.

According to FCPA Tracker, eight companies have now disclosed investigations related to Unaoil.

JWG said a joint venture "engaged Unaoil and that the joint venture made payments to Unaoil under agency agreements."

The disclosure said the internal investigation hasn't confirmed that the joint venture's payments to Unaoil were used for any corrupt purposes.

JWG operates in more than 40 countries and had sales last year of about $5 billion. The company helps design and build oil platforms, factories, power stations, wind farms, and refineries.

Earlier this month, another UK oil and gas services firm, Petrofac, said it is under investigation by the SFO for its relationship to Unaoil.

A report in March 2016 by Fairfax Media and the Huffington Post said Unaoil paid bribes on behalf of large companies in the oil and gas sector.

HuffPo said its story was based on leaked internal Unaoil documents.

Unaoil has denied the allegations.

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