oil refinery

London-Based Oil and Gas Service Company, TechnipFMC, Reserves $280 Million in Global Settlement Funds Potentially Needed for Bribery-Related Offenses in US, Brazil, and France

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company, TechnipFMC plc, stated that they have set aside $280 million in possible settlement funds involving bribery-related offenses. The payment would be delivered to authorities in the United States as well as Brazil and France.

TechnipFMC plc is a company based in London that is often found engaging in projects involving oil and gas. They were formed through a merger in 2017, including the UK-based FMC Technologies Inc. and French oil-services giant Technip SA. In 2010, Technip SA paid $338 million to resolve its own issue involving FCPA offenses in Nigeria that involved using massive bribes to win contracts worth $6 billion. They then used these bribery-won contracts to build massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities on Bonny Island in Nigeria.

Moving back to the present, this current reserve of settlement funds is related to an investigation involving a number of factors. TechnipFMC states in a summary of their financial statement for the fourth quarter in 2018 that, “We are cooperating with the U.S., Brazilian, and French authorities in their investigations of potential violations of anti-corruption laws relating to historical projects in Brazil, Equatorial Guinea, and Ghana, and Unaoil contracts. We have been informed that these authorities have been coordinating their investigations, which could result in a global resolution.”.

Adding, “These matters have progressed to a point where a probable estimate of the aggregate settlement amount with all authorities is $280 million, for which we have taken a provision in the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018. These matters involve negotiations with law enforcement authorities in three separate jurisdictions, and there is no certainty that a global settlement will be reached or that the settlement will not exceed the provision.”.

TechnipFMC did not say if they know how the $280 in estimated penalties would be allocated other than that the DOJ, SEC, and enforcement agencies in France and Brazil will be involved in the payout.

Looking towards the future, as TechnipFMC stated, even with these funds in reserve there is no certainty that this global settlement will even be reached. Even if there is a chance that it won’t be void of additional provisions to assure proper actions are taken. That all being said, this company must be prepared to work with all parties involved as much as possible to move forward from this situation.

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