A Reuters report from August 26, 2007 quotes Noble Corporation as saying it has been unable to obtain or renew permits for five of its seven drilling rigs operating in Nigeria due to the FCPA investigation of operations there. If those permits cannot be obtained, “we may need to terminate the drilling contract,” Noble reportedly said. Presumably, the permits cannot be obtained because Noble will not authorize potentially corrupt payments to Nigerian government officials.
If true, the U.S. Department of Justice apparently has told Noble and at least ten more oil and gas service companies to pull out of Nigeria instead of risking future FCPA violations. That could put serious pressure on Nigeria’s oil industry. The country finally will be forced either to renounce corrupt practices in the oil patch, or try to find new service providers who have the needed technology and are beyond the reach of the FCPA. Are there any?
View the Reuters’ Report Here.