On 3 April 2023, the Council on Ethics recommended that the British company Petrofac Ltd (Petrofac) be placed under observation due to an unacceptable risk that the company is contributing to or is itself responsible for gross corruption.
Petrofac Ltd engages primarily in the design and construction of infrastructure for oil and gas production, as well as the operation and maintenance of such facilities. The Council’s investigations have shown that Petrofac, or its subsidiaries, may be linked to allegations or suspicions of corruption in six countries over a period of 15 years. The Council has noted that a verdict against the company acknowledges that since the corrupt acts took place, Petrofac inter alia has strengthened its compliance organisation and due diligence processes, as well as replaced large parts of the board and management in the company. At the same time, the Council considers that uncertainty still attaches to some elements of Petrofac’s compliance programme, its corporate governance and the change in culture the company now claims to have implemented. Petrofac’s new compliance organisation was also put in place not long ago, making it difficult to fully assess the impact of the company’s anti-corruption measures.
The Council therefore considers that developments forward in time remain doubtful, and takes the view that the company should be placed under observation.
On 6 July 2023, Norges Bank announced its decision to place Petrofac under observation for a period of three years.