SBM Offshore, the world’s largest provider of FPSO units, entangled in a bribery case investigation with Petrobras in Brazil, has denied media reports claiming the company has reached a settlement with the country’s authorities.
The company was referring to a report by Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, which said that SBM Offshore had reached a $1.7 billion settlement in Brazil.
SBM Offshore responded: “SBM Offshore has not agreed to a $1.7 billion settlement. Discussions with Brazilian authorities are at an early stage and no numbers have been agreed upon.”
The FPSO supplier has been under the magnifying glass as reports emerged that one of its Brazilian agent bribed Brazilian government’s officials, consequently helping the Dutch company to gain unfair advantage in bidding for Petrobras FPSO contracts.
SBM Offshore settled the bribery case with the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office in November 2014, but the CGU continues to investigate it in Brazil.
As for the investigation in Brazil, on March 17, 2015, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Comptroller General’s Office (CGU) and the Attorney General’s Office in Brazil setting a framework for “discussions on a potential mutually acceptable settlement and for the disclosure by SBM Offshore of information relevant to the CGU’s investigations.”
In May 2014, Petrobras, one of the Dutch company’s main customers, said it would not seek bids from SBM Offshore as long as SBM is under bribery investigation in Brazil. SBM has recently said, given what the company has done since 2012 to improve its compliance,“SBM Offshore feels strongly there should be no impediment for it to resume its bidding activities in Brazil as soon as possible.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff