The DOJ is investigating potential bribery in Yemen by oil field services giant Schlumberger Ltd., according to a report today by Dionne Searcey of the Wall Street Journal.
The investigation focuses on payments to a consulting firm with ties to Yemen’s government when Schlumberger needed approval to create an oil-exploration databank there.
The report cited “two people familiar with the matter and . . . company documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.”
The paper didn’t say if its sources are seeking to be FCPA whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank provisions.
Schlumberger was among the dozen or more oil and gas-related firms investigated in connection with Panalpina’s freight-forwarding and customs clearance practices. It disclosed an FCPA-related investigation in its October 2007 quarterly filing with the SEC.
In July 2007, Schlumberger received an inquiry from the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) related to the DOJ’s investigation of whether certain freight forwarding and customs clearance services of Panalpina, Inc., and other companies provided to oil and oilfield service companies, including Schlumberger, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Schlumberger is cooperating with the DOJ and is conducting its own investigation with respect to these services.
It isn’t clear whether the new investigation is connected with Schlumberger’s earlier disclosure. There were no comments about the investigation from the DOJ or the company.
Schlumberger Ltd. — with 105,000 employees in 80 countries — is the world’s biggest oil and gas services company.
It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SLB.