US SEC Probes Eni, Total On Libya Operations

US SEC Probes Eni, Total On Libya Operations

LONDON - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sent formal requests to Italy's Eni SpA and France's Total SA related to the companies' Libyan businesses, the companies disclosed in regulatory filings.

The investigation is among the first new probes to be disclosed since the fall of Col. Moammar Gadhafi last year.

Eni, the biggest foreign oil player in Libya, said that on June 10, 2011, it received from the SEC "a formal judicial request" to submit documents related to its activity in Libya from 2008 to 2011, according to Eni's annual 20-F filing to the SEC released Thursday.

"The subpoena is related to an ongoing investigation without further clarifications nor specific alleged violations in connection to 'certain illicit payments to Libyan officials' possibly violating the U.S. Foreign Corruption Practice Act," Eni said.

Eni said it received a second request for documentation at the end of December 2011 and "is fully collaborating with the US SEC."

Total said in its annual report to the SEC last week that "in June 2011, the SEC issued to certain oil companies - including, among others, Total-a formal request for information related to their operations in Libya."

"Total is cooperating with this non-public investigation," it said.

Spokespeople for Eni and the SEC declined to comment. A spokesperson for Total was available for comment.

Total's operation in Libya is relatively small, representing only 3.4 % of the country's production and 2.2% of the French company's production, according to its Website.

But Libya, a former Italian colony, is key for Eni, which has been operating there since 1959. Prior to last year's civil war, output in the North African country represented about 14% of the Rome-based company's total production. Because of its large operations in Libya, experts warned Eni could be the foreign company with the most at stake following the end of the four-decade old Gadhafi regime.

The country's oil minister, Abdurahman Benyezza, who couldn't be reached on his mobile numbers, was until last year an Eni executive.

The SEC probe follows news that the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime is investigating possible corruption at Norwegian fertilizer company Yara International ASA.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


Click on the button below to add a comment.
Post a Comment
Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Ali Garkasi | Apr. 10, 2012
I think more investigation should be taken and the oil companies should release the names of the corrupted individuals in the old regime. I am sr. drilling engineer and I wish to contribute with our Libyan technical team to evaluate and discuss all operations done by those companies. Even we need to check their cost and and who knows, they are normally exaggerating with their numbers. I knew that all oil companies were operating without any control and they knew that the old regime was really in turmoil and they operated the way they think is profitable for them.

A. Azedani | Apr. 8, 2012
It is certainly good for those companies and any other company to cooperate with any investigation in their operations in Libya during the Past Corrupted Era of Gadaffi. Time is changing and the geopolitical systems as well, the civil societies are more aware and gaining powers to change. The Gadaffi era has been more than a nightmare, the Libyans has lost a lot!! Thus, any wrong doing should be rectified and apology to the Libyans should be submitted… Otherwise, Those companies’ international reputation, also in Libya will be badly damaged.

Related Companies

Our Privacy Pledge

Most Popular Articles

From the Career Center
Jobs that may interest you
Contracts Administrator
Expertise: Contracts Administration
Location: Anacortes, WA
Contract Specialist II
Expertise: Contracts Administration
Location: Midland, TX
Logistics Coordinator
Expertise: Customer Service|Logistics Management
Location: Marietta, OH
search for more jobs

Brent Crude Oil : $50.97/BBL 1.53%
Light Crude Oil : $48.75/BBL 1.79%
Natural Gas : $2.92/MMBtu 0.68%
Updated in last 24 hours