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In the Matter of Statoil, ASA

 
:
Statoil ASA
:
SEC Civil
:
October 13, 2006
:
In the Matter of Statoil, ASA
:
In the Matter of Statoil, ASA, No. 312453 (S.E.C. 2006)
:
Energy (Non-Utility)-Oil & Gas-Exploration/Production
:
Iran
:
2002; 2003
:
The head of the Iranian Fuel Consumption Optimizing Organization, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, and an advisor to Iran's Minister of Oil. He is the son of a former president of Iran who led the Expediency Council, which mediates between the politically-elected and clerically-controlled parts of Iran's government.
:
Statoil settled this action with the SEC without admitting or denying the following facts alleged in the SEC's order.

In 2002 and 2003, Statoil paid bribes to an Iranian government official in order to secure valuable oil and gas rights in Iran. In 2002, Statoil entered into a "consulting contract" with an offshore intermediary company, which called for the payment of more than $15 million over 11 years. The purpose of the contract was to induce the Iranian official to use his influence to assist Statoil in obtaining oil and gas projects in Iran. A senior Statoil executive (the "Senior Executive"), who reported directly to the CEO, and the CEO were directly involved in approving the contract. Statoil made two payments totalling $5.2 million pursuant to the contract, and was awarded a development contract expected to yield millions of dollars in profits. The payments were characterized in Statoil's books and records as legitimate consulting fees. In 2004, Statoil's internal audit department uncovered and reported the existence of the consulting contract (and the $5.2 million payments) to the company's CFO, who ordered an investigation into the matter. Statoil's security group and internal audit group subsequently prepared a report concluding that the company may have violated U.S. and Norwegian bribery laws and recommended that the contract be terminated immediately. Despite that recommendation, Statoil's CEO and the Chairman of its Board of Directors took no corrective action. The consulting contract was subsequently disclosed in the Norwegian press, which led to the resignations of the Senior Executive, the CEO, and the Chairman, and gave rise to first the Norwegian inquiry by Okokrim, the Norwegian fraud investigation agency, and later the DOJ's investigation and the SEC's inquiry. On October 13, 2006, Statoil consented to the entry of a cease and desist order enjoining it from further FCPA violations, agreed to pay a $10.5 million disgorgement, agreed to the appointment of an independent compliance monitor, and agreed to adopt remedial compliance measures.
:
Anti-bribery (Issuer), Books and records (Issuer), Internal controls (Issuer)
:
Compliance Monitor, Disgorgement, Injunction/Cease and desist
:
Statoil agreed to pay $10.5 million in disgorgement to the SEC within ten days of the entry of the cease and desist order.
:
10,500,000
:
0
:
Issuer
:
Foreign
:
Contract Procurement/Retention
:
Not stated.
:
Wire/check
:
Sales Agent/Consultant
:
5,200,000
:
Iran
:
Switzerland, United States
:
No
:
Norway