Nigeria in Talks With Technip, Eni and JGC Over Bribe Case

Technip SA of France, Eni SpA of Italy and JGC Corp. of Japan are in talks with Nigerian prosecutors to settle corruption charges that will be filed today, the countryís anti-graft agency said. ìTalks are ongoing and we hope to reach a settlement very soon, once the amount has been agreed by the parties, Godwin Obla, prosecuting counsel at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said in an interview yesterday at his office in Abuja, the capital. The state wants at least $150 million from each of the companies. We think that’s only fair, Obla said.

Nigeria is investigating a group of companies known as TSKJ, including Paris-based Technip, Snamprogetti SpA, a unit of Rome-based Eni, KBR, a former Halliburton Co. subsidiary, and JGC in Tokyo, for allegedly paying $180 million as bribes to officials between 1994 and 2004 to win a $6 billion liquefied natural gas plant contract. Prosecutors couldn’t reach an understanding for talks with Halliburton and KBR, Obla said.