- The Washington Times - Monday, November 8, 2004

HOUSTON (AP) — Various investigations into a $180 million bribery scandal in Nigeria involving a Halliburton Co. subsidiary and other companies have indicated that payments may have been made to Nigerian officials, the company said in a regulatory filing.

“We understand from the ongoing governmental and other investigations that payments may have been made to Nigerian officials,” said the Houston-based oil services conglomerate in a quarterly filing on Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said yesterday that the company has no direct knowledge of such payments. “Halliburton’s ongoing investigation has still not found any evidence that supports there were any bribes paid.”

The suspicion centers on a contract for a $4 billion Nigerian liquefied natural gas plant awarded in 1995 to TSKJ, a consortium of four partners — M.W. Kellogg Co., a subsidiary of Dresser Industries; Technip SA of France; ENI SpA of Italy and Japan Gasoline Corp.

Halliburton acquired Dresser in 1998 — three years after Dick Cheney, elected last week to a second term as U.S. vice president, began his 1995-2000 tenure as Halliburton’s chief executive officer — and combined its Brown & Root subsidiary with M.W. Kellogg to form engineering and construction unit KBR.

The Justice Department, the SEC, a French magistrate and Nigerian officials are investigating whether the consortium paid $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials from 1995 through 2002. The consortium got other contracts involving the Nigerian plant in 1999 and 2002.

In June, Halliburton fired two consultants, including former KBR Chairman A. Jack Stanley, for violating the company’s business code of conduct by receiving “improper personal benefits” related to TSKJ’s construction of the Nigerian plant.

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