Editors

Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

Bill Steinman
Contributing Editor

Russian Economy Minister arrested for allegedly ‘extorting’ oil company bribe

Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has been charged with soliciting a multi-million dollar bribe from oil giant Rosneft. 

Russia’s Investigative Committee alleges that Ulyukayev extorted a $2 million bribe from Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, in exchange for approving the company’s purchase of a stake in Bashneft. 

Rosneft purchased a 50 percent stake in Bashneft, a smaller regional oil company, for RUB 329.7 billion ($5.1 billion) in October. 

An Investigative Committee spokesperson told TASS the agency was tipped off after Rosneft complained to law enforcement about the alleged corruption. 

Ulyukayev was detained on November 14, TASS said. 

According to Russian media reports, Ulyukayev threatened to use his ministerial authority against Rosneft if the company didn’t pay the bribe. 

Russian authorities told TASS the case will not impact Rosneft’s purchase of its Bashneft stake. 

Authorities haven’t named any other suspects in the case. 

Ulyukayev is the highest ranking Russian official to be arrested while in office since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. 

He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.… Continue Reading

Angola president appoints daughter to head national oil company

Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos may have to answer questions concerning his daughter’s recent appointment as the head of state-owned Sonangol. 

According to court documents seen by Reuters, Angola’s Supreme Court has asked dos Santos to respond to an inquiry into why he appointed Isabel dos Santos as CEO of the state-owned oil firm in June.… Continue Reading

Saudi Aramco: Our employee took bribe from Embraer

Saudi Aramco reportedly confirmed Friday that one of its employees took a bribe for arranging a deal with aircraft maker Embraer SA. 

Saudi Aramco told the Wall Street Journal an internal investigation found that an unnamed employee took a bribe in 2010 for “facilitating the purchase of three aircraft from Embraer.” 

Earlier this week Brazil’s Embraer agreed to pay more than $205 million to the U.S.… Continue Reading

Singapore rig builder calls Brazil payments ‘suspicious’

Keppel Corporation said certain payments made by an agent in connection with Petrobras contracts may have been “suspicious.” 

Keppel said it notified authorities in the relevant jurisdictions of its intention to cooperate and work toward the “resolution of the underlying issues arising from or in connection with the transactions.”

In a filing with the Singapore Stock Exchange Monday, the company said internal investigations into payments by its Brazil agent, Zwi Skornicki, showed that “certain transactions” associated with Skornicki “may be suspicious.” 

Keppel builds giant rigs used to drill for and produce offshore oil and gas.… Continue Reading

Report: Panama Papers show role of shell companies in Saipem Algeria bribes

The law firm at the center of the Panama Papers leak may have helped facilitate an alleged multi-million corruption scheme tied to Sonatrach contracts won by Saipem. 

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists said  Mossack Fonesca helped Farid Bedjaoui create a Swiss bank account that was used to purchase “shelf” companies in the Caribbean. 

Italian prosecutors allege that Bedjaoui, the nephew of a former Algerian foreign minister, orchestrated about $275 million in bribe payments to help Saipem win $10 billion worth of pipeline contracts from Algeria’s national energy company, Sonatrach, the New York Times said

Shell companies purchased through the Swiss account were allegedly used to divert graft payments to other parties including payments to family members and associates of former Algerian energy minister Chekib Khelil, the ICIJ said. 

Bedjaoui has been dubbed “Mr.… Continue Reading