Petrofac admits failing to stop staff paying £32m in bribes to secure contracts

Former executive David Lufkin previously admitted 14 counts of bribery

Oil and gas services firm Petrofac has admitted failing to stop employees paying $44 million (£32.6m) in bribes to secure contracts in the Middle East.

Clare Montgomery QC, representing Petrofac, entered pleas to seven counts of failing to prevent bribery between October 2011 and May 2017 on the firm’s behalf on Friday.

Former Petrofac executive David Lufkin, 53, earlier pleaded guilty to 14 counts of bribery relating to payments of about $81m (£60m) for contracts worth around $8.4bn (£6.24bn).

Jonathan Kinnear QC, of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), said statements given by Lufkin to his department had set out “in considerable detail the corruption he was involved in while employed by Petrofac”.

Former global head of sales Lufkin negotiated and paid bribes to corrupt agents in a “complex process to ensure the right payments were made to the right people at the right time”.

The firm has said it has instituted far reaching reforms after the issues came to light.

“This was a deeply regrettable period of Petrofac’s history," chairman Rene Medori said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring it will never happen again. We have fundamentally overhauled our compliance regime, as well as the people and the culture that supports it.

“Our comprehensive programme of corporate renewal has been acknowledged by the SFO.”

Updated: October 1st 2021, 3:04 PM