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Monday
Oct192015

Norway contractor reports ‘likely’ bribes to Petrobras

Sevan Marine "more likely than not" made improper payments to win business with Brazil's Petrobras, the company said in a statement released Friday.

An investigation led by lawyers from Advokatfirmaet Selmer DA and commissioned by Sevan's board focused on how contracts with Petrobras were obtained from 2005 to 2008.

Sevan Marine specializes in the design, engineering, and construction of offshore oil and gas projects. It is headquartered in Arendal, Norway and trades on the Oslo stock exchange.

Through document reviews and interviews with key individuals, the investigators found it is "more likely than not, that illegal conduct in the form of improper payments to obtain business occurred when Petrobras awarded contracts" to Sevan and its subsidiaries during the three-year period covered by the probe.

"There are indications of suspicious acts and transactions, constituting both a neglect of Sevan's affairs and/or a conflict with Sevan's interests and such acts may potentially represent economic crime," the report said.

The likely payments involved individuals no longer working at Sevan, the report said. The company didn't say how much money could have been involved, or who the potential bribes went to.

Sevan's directors provided the report to the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM).

"The board has also initiated early contact with the relevant prosecutors' offices in the United States, United Kingdom and Brazil in coordination with counsel retained in those jurisdictions," Sevan's statement said.

The internal investigation is currently looking into reports in the Brazilian media that Petrobras executives allegedly provided privileged information to investors regarding the signing of contracts between Petrobras and Sevan.

"Such information has been shared with the Oslo Stock Exchange and ØKOKRIM," Sevan said.

Sevan practices zero tolerance for corruption, the company said, "and is dedicated to comply with all relevant laws and principles for proper business conduct."

Sevan Marine's October 16, 2015 statement is here.

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Nicolas Torres is a reporter for Petro Global News.