By John Lee.
China's Caixin has reported that the Missan Oil Company (MOC) has suspended all activities of a company called Hermic, an oilfield service company controlled by former executives of the China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC).
Hermic is said to have won at least 12 engineering outsourcing contracts worth US$75 million from CNPC at the Halfaya oil field; the total value of contracts outsourced by the CNPC's Halfaya operation to Hermic and its affiliated companies is estimated to reach US$115 million, a figure that apparently prompted fraud suspicions.
Caixin found that the sole shareholder of Hermic, Li Wei, is also the chairman of Hong Kong-registered DRK Energy, which has a US$20 million contract in Halfaya. Another company related to Li is Hong Kong-registered Power Petroleum Int., a company that has won more than US$20 million in service contracts on the same project. Altogether, the three companies have received about US$115 million worth contracts at Halfaya.
Three of the contracts are valued at between US$ 8 million and US$ 9 million, and are so similar that they have been described as "actually one contract ... split into three smaller contracts in order to avoid regulations."
Hermic is alleged to have provided fake documents to secure contracts, and is said to be "a shell company registered in Las Vegas ... The registration date is May 2010, about when CNPC entered Halfaya."