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Core Labs says DOJ asks questions about Unaoil

An Amsterdam-based oil services company said in a U.S. securities filing last week the DOJ has asked it questions in connection with the Unaoil investigation.

Core Laboratories was one of about a dozen companies named in a report in late March by the Huffington Post and Fairfax Media.

The report alleged that Monaco-based Unaoil paid bribes on behalf of large companies in the oil and gas sector.

Core Labs said it is cooperating with the DOJ.

The disclosure came in a registration statement filed with the SEC.

In addition to Core Labs, HuffPo named FMC Technologies, Rolls-Royce, and Weatherford as “beneficiaries of Unaoil’s network in the Middle East.”

Also named were Saipem, MAN Turbo, SBM Offshore, ABB, Cameron/Natco, Leighton Offshore, and Petrofac, among others.

UK-based Petrofac said in April it launched an investigation into allegations of bribery to win contracts Kazakhstan and the Middle East.

KBR and FMC Technologies said in early May the Justice Department had contacted them with questions about Unaoil. Both said they were cooperating.

Police in Monaco raided Unaoil’s offices after the Huffington Post/Fairfax Media report appeared.

Unaoil has denied the bribery allegations.

HuffPo and Fairfax Media said their report was based on leaked Unaoil emails and memos.

Core Labs has more than 70 offices in about 50 oil-producing countries. It uses technology to help oil producers increase total recovery from existing fields.

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Core Laboratories N.V. Form S-3 filed with the SEC on May 11, 2016 said:

[I]t has been reported that the United States Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) is conducting an investigation of Unaoil, a Monaco based company, related to activities Unaoil may have engaged in related to international projects involving several global companies, including Core Lab. The DOJ has contacted us in connection with that investigation, and we are cooperating with its requests for information.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He’ll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016

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