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August 16, 2009

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Oil giant refutes US bribes report

CHINA National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), one of the country's largest oil companies, yesterday denied involvement in a bribery case involving a US firm.

A CNOOC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no one inside the company had been found to have accepted bribery from the US firm or its sales agents, according to an internal investigation of the Chinese company.

The comment came after a Beijing-based newspaper reported on Friday that Control Components Inc (CCI), a valve manufacturer based in California, admitted paying bribes to employees of China's big state-owned enterprises including PetroChina and CNOOC.

The report cited the US Department of Justice.

The CNOOC official said the company started to investigate bribery claims as early as April when its involvement in the case was first announced by the US justice department.

Its investigation showed that among all business transactions between the US firm and the Chinese company's related projects, 11 in total, from 2002 to 2009, no violation was found against regulations or procedures of the Chinese company, said the CNOOC official.

In addition, all staff and officials involved in the transactions had vowed, in written pledges, to have violated no rules against commercial bribery, according to the official.

He added that the US firm had somewhat backed up the investigation results of the Chinese company.

In a reply to CNOOC on June 22, in response to a request from the Chinese firm for a joint investigation, CCI said that "payments involved had been wired to personal accounts of CCI staff or friends and relatives of CCI staff."

"There is no evidence indicating that briberies paid by CCI landed in hands of CNOOC staff, or that staff of CNOOC had voluntarily asked for a bribe," according to CCI's reply.


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