Statoil Employee Indicted

Two former employees of contractor Reinhold & Mahla (R&M) and a Statoil staffer have been charged by the Norwegian serious fraud squad for making or receiving irregular payments.

The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) began investigating the trio after suspicions were reported by both companies.

According to the indictments, the Statoil employee is alleged to have received money in connection with contracts carried out for the group by R&M.

The Statoil staffer has been employed since the investigation began on duties which do not involve contact with outsiders or acting on behalf of the group towards external parties.

"We take a very serious view of the case, and have supplied information to the fraud squad in this specific instance," says Stig Bergseth, senior vice president for health, safety and the environment.

Statoil is awaiting the outcome of the legal process, and accordingly has no further comments on the affair.

Mr Bergseth emphasizes that the group regards the future conduct of the case as a matter between the prosecuting authorities and those indicted.

R&M currently holds contracts for surface maintenance in the Troll/Sleipner and Halten/Nordland areas of the North and Norwegian Seas respectively.

The company also holds a frame agreement relating to insulating materials, and a contract to upgrade cabins on the Statfjord field in the North Sea.

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