Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Halliburton NIGERIA LNG BRIBE SCANDAL ECHOES AGAIN IN CHICAGO



The NIGERIA LNG on Bonny Island.

Aug. 22, 2005, 11:33PM



Nigeria work prompts subpoena
Chicago Bridge, Halliburton joined to do project

By DAVID IVANOVICH
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed documents from Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. as part of an investigation into Halliburton Co.'s business dealings in Nigeria, the company said in filing.

The SEC and the Justice Department have been examining Houston-based Halliburton's role in the construction of a $5.5 billion liquefied natural gas plant at Bonny Island in Nigeria's Rivers State.

Chicago Bridge, an engineering and construction company based in the Netherlands, with its worldwide administrative headquarters in The Woodlands, served as a subcontractor for a Halliburton affiliate on the project.

When the company's participation in the project was first announced in December 1999, Chicago Bridge officials estimated the contract's value at more than $100 million.

The LNG facility was built by a Madeira, Portugal-based consortium called TSKJ. The consortium was equally owned by Halliburton; France's Technip; Snamprogetti Netherlands, an affiliate of Italy's ENI; and Japan's JGC Corp.

Halliburton officials acknowledged last year that the partners discussed as long as 10 years ago paying bribes to Nigerian officials.

"We understand from the ongoing governmental and other investigations that payments may have been made to Nigerian officials," Halliburton said in a recent filing.

Chicago Bridge officials received a subpoena from the SEC Aug. 14.

"We are cooperating fully with such investigation," the company said in a filing with the SEC.

Chicago Bridge spokesman Bruce Steimle could provide no other details about the investigation.

Chicago Bridge employs about 300 in its office in The Woodlands.

"We are working with all officials and will, of course, continue to cooperate with the SEC to provide them with all the information they request," Halliburton spokeswoman Cathy Mann said.

david.ivanovich@chron.com

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