Photo: Petrofac

Ex-Petrofac exec pleads guilty in bribery case related to contracts in UAE

A former executive at oilfield services provider Petrofac has pleaded guilty to bribery offences related to contract awards in UAE worth about $3.3 billion.

UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said in a statement on Thursday that, in connection with its ongoing investigation into Petrofac and its subsidiaries, David Lufkin, a British national and the former Global Head of Sales at Petrofac, has pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to three counts of bribery.

According to the SFO, the offences relate to corrupt offers and payments made between 2012 and 2018 to influence the award of contracts to Petrofac in the United Arab Emirates worth approximately $3.3 billion.

Specifically, Lufkin has pleaded guilty to his role in offering and making corrupt payments to agents to influence the award of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to Petrofac in 2013 (and a variation to that contract awarded in 2014) on the Upper Zakum UZ750 Field Development Project, and a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract awarded to Petrofac in 2014 on the Bab Integrated Facilities Project, each located in Abu Dhabi.

Total payments of approximately $30 million were made or were due to be made, by Petrofac to those agents in connection with these contracts.

These charges are in addition to eleven charges of bribery already brought by the SFO, to which Lufkin pleaded guilty in February 2019.

Those charges related to corrupt offers to influence the award of contracts to Petrofac in Iraq worth in excess of $730 million and in Saudi Arabia worth in excess of $3.5 billion.

Lufkin’s case has been committed for sentence to Southwark Crown Court on 11 February 2021.

The SFO’s investigation into the activities of Petrofac, its officers, employees and agents for suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering continues. This is an active case and the SFO said it could provide no further comment at this time.

In a separate statement on Friday, Petrofac confirmed that a former employee has admitted additional charges under the UK Bribery Act 2010.

The company further confirmed that no charges have been brought against any group company or any other officers or employees.

Petrofac underlined that a small number of its former employees are alleged to have acted together with the individual concerned, although none have been charged.

No current board member of the company is alleged to have been involved.