A former senior boss at Petrofac has pleaded guilty to further charges of bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation related to contract wins worth billions of dollars.
At Westminster Magistrates Court, David Lufkin pleaded guilty to three counts of bribery related to the award of contracts worth $3.3billion to Petrofac in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between 2012 and 2018.
The British national and former global head of sales at Petrofac already pleaded guilty in 2019 to 11 other bribery charges brought by the SFO related to huge contract awards, worth $3.5bn in Saudi Arabia and $730m in Iraq.
The SFO said the new charges relate to the award of contracts to two Abu Dhabi projects: an EPC contract in 2013 for the Upper Zakum UZ750 Field Development Project, and a front-end engineering design contract in 2014 on the Bab Integrated Facilities Project.
Corrupt payments of approximately $30million were made, or were due to be made, by Petrofac in relation to the contracts, the SFO said.
Mr Lufkin’s case has been committed for sentence to Southwark Crown Court on 11 February 2021.
The SFO said it could not make any further comment as it remains an active case.
The company has been dogged by the corruption investigation launched in May 2017, which formed part of a wider probe into Unaoil, a Monaco-based consultancy.
Petrofac has said previously that it is seeking to bring the episode to a close as quickly as possible.
The SFO’s investigation into the activities of Petrofac, its officers, employees and agents for suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering continues.
Petrofac said: “The Serious Fraud Office has announced that a former employee of a Petrofac subsidiary has admitted additional charges under the UK Bribery Act 2010.
“These charges relate to three historic contract awards in the UAE in 2013 and 2014.
“Petrofac confirms that no charges have been brought against any Group company or any other officers or employees.
“A small number of former Petrofac employees are alleged to have acted together with the individual concerned, although none have been charged.
“No current Board member of Petrofac Limited is alleged to have been involved.
“Petrofac’s management is committed to operating at the highest standards of ethical business practice.
“Petrofac continues to engage with the SFO and will respond to any further developments as appropriate.”
Last month Petrofac issued a trading update outlining the effect of Covid-19 on the business, warning of the potential for further cost cuts.
It is understood Petrofac will reduce its headcount further, but job cuts will be focused primarily on the firm’s engineering and construction business in the Middle East.