Saipem, Eni To Pay $365M In Nigeria Bribe Case

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Italian oilfield services company Saipem SpA and parent Eni SpA will pay $365 million to resolve U.S. probes into a Nigerian bribery case, Eni said on Wednesday.

Snamprogetti Netherlands, a Saipem unit, will pay $240 million under an accord with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve bribery charges stemming from contracts to build liquid natural gas facilities at Bonny Island, Nigeria, Eni said in a statement.

"If it satisfies the terms of the agreement, the charges against Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. will be dismissed," said Eni, an oil company which owns 43 percent of Saipem.

Eni and Snamprogetti also will pay $125 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as part of a consent order with the agency related to the Bonny Island contracts.

The TSKJ consortium, which included Eni's Snamprogetti unit, is being investigated in several countries over allegations it paid bribes to the Nigerian government between 1994 and 2004 to get contracts worth more than $6 billion to build liquified natural gas facilities.

KBR Inc which headed the consortium, pleaded guilty last year in the United States to charges it had paid $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials.

The consortium also included Technip S.A. and Japan's JGC Corp.

Technip agreed in June to pay a fine of $338 million in connection with the bribery scheme.

The Justice Department charges against Snamprogetti Netherlands included one count of conspiracy and violating some parts of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the statement said.

The SEC consent order alleges that Eni and Snamprogetti violated some sections of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Eni had agreed to indemnify Saipem for the costs stemming from the inquiries when it sold Snamprogetti, Saipem said in a statement. The payments thus will have no impact on its income statement or balance sheet, it said.