Report: Ex-Vantage Drilling CEO charged with corruption in Brazil

Brazilian prosecutors have charged former Vantage Drilling CEO Paul Bragg of corruption and money laundering.

The prosecutors claim Bragg paid $31 million to Petrobras employees in exchange for drilling contracts, O’ Globo reports.

According to reports, former Petrobras international branch director Jorge Zelada, and manager Eduardo Vaz Musa took the bribes.

“In order for the contract to be closed with the American company, several irregularities were committed and identified by the State Internal Investigation Commission,” O’ Globo reported on Friday.

Offshore Energy Today was unable to reach Paul Bragg for a comment. His former employer Vantage Drilling declined to comment.

Vantage Drilling earlier this month won $622 million in damages in a case against Petrobras for a wrongful termination of the contract for the Titanium Explorer drillship in 2015. Petrobras said it would challenge the arbitration decision.

The Titanium Explorer, a self-propelled, dynamically positioned drillship suited for drilling in remote locations, had started its $1.6 billion, eight-year contract with Petrobras in December 2012, when Petrobras in 2015 terminated the rig deal.

It was at the time reported that Petrobras might have terminated the rig deal due to reports that the Titanium Explorer deal had been secured with the help of bribes given to Zelada. These allegations were denied by Vantage Drilling.

Worth noting both Zelada and Musa were arrested and in 2016 and sentenced to prison terms for corruption. Zelada was in 2016 sentenced to 12 years, while Musa was sentenced for passive corruption and money laundering. Musa agreed to a plea bargain reducing his 11 years and eight months in jail sentence to ten years.

Offshore Energy Today Staff