England: Petrofac executive pleads guilty to bribery charges

A former senior executive at oilfield giant Petrofac has pleaded guilty to bribery in relation to corrupt offers to influence the award of contracts to the company worth in excess of $730 million in Iraq and in excess of $3.5 billion in Saudi Arabia.

David Lufkin, 51, previously global head of sales for Petrofac International Limited, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to 11 counts of bribery, contrary to sections 1(1) and 1(2) of the Bribery Act 2010.

Payments of approximately $2.2m were made by Petrofac to two agents in respect of a $329.7m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the Badra oilfield in Iraq awarded to Petrofac in February 2012. 

Payments of approximately $4m were made by Petrofac to an agent in respect of an O&M contract on the Fao Terminal project in Iraq. The Fao Terminal O&M contract, awarded to Petrofac in August 2012, together with yearly extensions awarded in 2013, 2014 and 2015, was worth approximately USD $400 million to Petrofac.

Petrofac said “a number of individuals and entities” were alleged to have acted alongside Mr Lufkin, but added that none of them had been charged and also that “no current board member” was alleged to have been involved.

Mr Lufkin will be sentenced at a later date.

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

René Médori, chairman of Petrofac, said: “The SFO has chosen to bring charges against a former employee of a subsidiary company. It has deliberately not chosen to charge any group company or any other officer or employee.

“In the absence of any charge or credible evidence, Petrofac intends as a matter of policy to stand by its employees. Petrofac has procedures in place to ensure that we operate at the highest levels of compliance and ethics.”