Former Petrofac executive pleads guilty to bribery

A former senior sales executive at engineering firm, Petrofac, has plead guilty to 11 counts of bribery used to secure work on several Middle East oil projects worth more than $4bn (£3bn) in both Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

In a prosecution bought by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) David Lufkin, the former Global Head of Sales for Petrofac, plead guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 7 February 2019 to eleven counts of bribery totaling nearly $50m to secure lucrative oil services contracts, including a $330m contract on Iraq’s Badra oilfield, awarded in February 2012.

Another contract involved payments to an agent of $4m to win work on Iraq’s Fao oil terminal, which Petrofac was awarded in August 2012, along with three yearly extensions. The deal was worth about $400m to the company, the SFO said.

In the Saudi case, the SFO said Petrofac paid an agent a total of $45m to win three contracts that were awarded between July 2012 and November 2015. These were worth a combined total of more than $3.7bn.

The case illustrates the importance of anti-bribery vigilance and of ethical behaviour in global markets. In a statement Petrofac said “no charges have been brought against any Group company or any other officers or employees”. But it added that a number of Petrofac individuals and entities are alleged “to have acted together” with Mr Lufkin.

The SFO’s investigation into Petrofac’s use of agents in multiple jurisdictions, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia, is ongoing.