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Unaoil joins Leighton in Denying Iraq Allegations

By John Lee.

The Australian reports that the company at the centre of the Leighton Holdings bribery allegations has denied any involvement in corruption in Iraq, or having links to the Oil Minister and Prime Minister.

Unaoil, which is based in Monaco, was alleged to have been paid kickbacks by Leighton to secure an oil pipeline contract from the Iraqi government. According to Fairfax Media, Unaoil, which is run by an Iranian family, had close ties to Oil Minister Shahristani and Prime Minister al-Maliki.

But in a statement the company said:

“Unaoil takes great offence from, and categorically denies, any allegations that we engaged in improper conduct in relation to our work with Leighton on the ICOEEP (Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project).

It added that it had been cleared of any wrongdoing following an external investigation.

(Source: The Australian)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Security0 Comments

Leighton Shares Dive on Iraq Corruption Allegations

Leighton Shares Dive on Iraq Corruption Allegations

By John Lee.

Shares in the Australia’s Leighton Holdings, Australia’s biggest builder, fell more than 10 percent on Thursday following reports that former executives knew of alleged corruption at the company in Iraq.

Leighton allegedly paid bribes to win contracts, and former chief executive officers Wal King and David Stewart were aware of the conduct, according to a report that follows a six-month investigation by the Fairfax Press.

A handwritten note from November 2010 allegedly shows that Mr King approved $42 million in kickbacks to “a firm in Monaco nominated by Iraqi officials” for a $750 million oil pipeline contract.

In July of last year, the company sacked a senior manager, whom it did not name, as part of its probe into allegations of bribery.

(Sources: Businessweek, ABC, Yahoo!)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Security2 Comments

Leighton Looks to Move on from Iraq Scandal

Leighton Looks to Move on from Iraq Scandal

By John Lee.

Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) chairman, Riad Al Sadik (pictured), has said Leighton’s name “became very, very bad in Iraq” in 2012 following the bribery scandal.

HLG was definitely affected,” he told The Australian. “It took us quite some time to clean this up.

The company sacked a senior manager last year as part of its probe into allegations of bribery related to its $1.3 billion of oil contracts in Iraq.

(Source: Business Spectator, The Australian)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Security0 Comments

Leighton Wins $200m Iraq Contract

Leighton Wins $200m Iraq Contract

By John Lee.

Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) has been awarded a sub-contract for the construction of infrastructure in Southern Iraq and is part of an engineering, procurement and construction project to deliver a central production facility.

The Australian reports that the contract is valued at more than $200 million.

HLG CEO and Managing Director Laurie Voyer (pictured) said, the project is in line with the Group’s strategy to diversify its work by type and geography and will be the first contract HLG has been awarded in Iraq.

“HLG has developed an outstanding reputation for delivering complex projects in remote locations, and we are delighted to be working on this key project,” he said.

HLG’s initial scope of works comprises the partial engineering, and construction of civil, utility, and infrastructure works, including:

  • Site offices
  • Earthworks, roads and buildings
  • Equipment installation, electrical and instrumentation
  • Oil and water storage tanks
  • Pre-commissioning

“This project provides HLG with an opportunity to demonstrate our outstanding construction capabilities and ability to deliver the project to the highest international standards,” said HLG Chairman, Riad T Sadik.

“We appreciate the importance of this project, and its successful delivery will stand HLG in good stead to secure additional oil and gas-related work – further cementing our position as one of the leading diversified international contractors in the Middle East and North Africa,” Mr Sadik said.

Works will commence immediately, with completion scheduled for early 2014.

(Sources: HLG, The Australian)

Posted in Construction & Engineering0 Comments

Leighton Executive Sacked in Probe into Iraq Bribery

By John Lee.

Australian construction group Leighton Holdings has sacked a senior manager, whom it did not name, as part of its probe into allegations of bribery related to its $1.3 billion of oil contracts in Iraq.

The company said “its internal review of the Iraq projects undertaken by its subsidiary, Leighton Offshore Pte Limited, has identified instances of failures to meet governance standards in respect of the proper documentation of contractual arrangements. As a consequence, a senior manager has been dismissed.

Leighton Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer, Hamish Tyrwhitt, said:

Leighton’s values are integral to Leighton’s approach to business. No deviation from those values will be tolerated and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if necessary.

The internal review followed the announcement in February that the company had made a voluntary referral to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Leighton is continuing to cooperate with the ongoing AFP investigation.

Leighton was working on the new floating Single Point Mooring (SPM) platforms in the Gulf.

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Oil & Gas, Security0 Comments

Leighton may be Expelled from Iraq

Leighton may be Expelled from Iraq

Iraq has threatened to expel Leighton Holdings from the country’s lucrative oil and gas fields, following the company’s announcement on Monday of an investigation into possible corruption.

The deputy head of the Iraqi Oil Ministry’s petroleum contracts and licensing directorate, Sabah Al-Saidi, told The Australian Financial Review he was shocked by claims that Leighton Holdings subsidiary Leighton Offshore might have sought to influence contract awards through improper payments.

“We have worked very hard to ­create a transparent oil and gas industry and these allegations are already proving very damaging to our international reputation,” he said.

“I do not want to pre-judge what this investigation may find but certainly we expect international companies like Leighton to perform to best international standard … Anything less than that does not have a place within our industry here in Iraq.”

Mr Al-Saidi declined to say if any investigation into Iraq’s Oil Ministry staff and practices was being conducted as a result of the Leighton probe.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank downgrades Leighton Holdings to a ‘hold’ recommendation.

(Source: Australian Financial Review)

Posted in Oil & Gas, Security2 Comments

Leighton Alerts Police to Possible Bribery in Iraq

Leighton Alerts Police to Possible Bribery in Iraq

Leighton Holdings Limited (Leighton) has announced that it has reported to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) a possible breach of its Code of Ethics that, if substantiated, may contravene Australian laws.

The possible breach related to payments that may have been made by Leighton’s subsidiary company, Leighton Offshore Pte. Limited, in connection with work to expand offshore loading facilities for Iraq’s crude oil exports.

Leighton Holdings’ Chairman, Mr Stephen Johns, said that Leighton had volunteered the information to the AFP after becoming aware of a possible breach.

“We are cooperating fully with the AFP as they conduct an investigation into these matters,” said Mr Johns.

Leighton Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Hamish Tyrwhitt, said that Leighton’s values were integral to Leighton’s approach to business.

“Our Code of Ethics and our values have been, and will continue to be, critical to our culture. Our values are consistently applied across the Leighton Group and deviations from those values are not tolerated,” said Mr Tyrwhitt.

At this stage it is not known whether there has been any wrongful or illegal conduct, or whether there will be any adverse financial consequences for Leighton. The AFP investigation is at an early stage and, accordingly, Leighton is not in a position to make any further comment.

(Source: Leighton)

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Leighton Engineering Awarded $10m Iraq Contract

Leighton Engineering Awarded $10m Iraq Contract

Leighton Offshore officially launched its new engineering business in Malaysia. DPS Leighton Engineering Sdn Bhd (LE), a fully owned PMC subsidiary of Leighton Offshore, provides engineering and PMC solutions for Leighton’s international EPCIC and LOFS business.

Leighton’s detailed engineering and PMC arm has grown from the former oil and gas engineering consulting business of DPS Bristol (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which was acquired by Leighton.

LE will also be providing technical, procurement and management support to DPS Consultant Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which provides oil and gas consultancy services in Malaysia.

Leighton Offshore CEO Peter Cox said “We are growing our Oil & Gas business internationally from our headquarters here in Malaysia, and strengthening our engineering and PMC capacity is a core element in our growth strategy”.

Mr. Cox also announced that Leighton Engineering has already been awarded its first contract with a value of approximately $10m to undertake the detailed engineering of two offshore platforms for the $518m Sealine Project for Iraq’s South Oil Company which is being managed here in KL by a dedicated Leighton project team.

The Leighton engineering team will also assist with the procurement and follow on engineering for the two platforms.

The Sealine project involves the design, construction and installation of two offshore platforms, a 75 kilometer 48″ oil pipeline and a single point mooring system and follows on from the $800m ICOEEP project currently being undertaken by Leighton Offshore.

“We have made a business decision to focus our engineering and EPIC capability here in Kuala Lumpur, where there is a wealth of oil and gas experience and a competitive engineering talent base for oil and gas projects, and we are proud to be bringing world class projects, such as the Sealine Project to be performed here supporting investment and new jobs in Malaysia,” Mr. Cox said.

Leighton today also officially opened its new office at G Tower on Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur and unveiled their new logo. “The new logo gives us a strong and distinctive look which reflects our heritage and is relevant to the oil and gas industry. Our new offices in G Tower, Malaysia’s first Green building (BCA Gold Greenmark) reflect our commitment to sustainability and our confidence in our strong growth prospects here in Malaysia”, added Mr. Cox.

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Oil & Gas0 Comments

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