Addax shuts international offices after Nigerian bribery case

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Chinese-owned oil firm Addax Petroleum is shutting its offices in Geneva, Houston and Aberdeen, it said on Monday, a month after it agreed to pay 31 million Swiss francs ($31.85 million) to settle charges of suspected bribery of Nigerian and other foreign officials, Reuters reports.

Addax said its parent firm Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (SIPC) would integrate the three offices into a new technical centre in Beijing. SIPC was streamlining its business model in response to low oil prices, the statement said. Addax has more than 1,000 employees, and operations in Nigeria, Gabon and Cameroon, as well as joint ventures with Genel in Iraqi Kurdistan and with Repsol in the British North Sea.

Prosecutors for the Swiss canton of Geneva had investigated the company, whose chief executive officer and legal director were also charged, over several tens of millions of dollars in payments to a company and several lawyers in Nigeria. A four-month investigation found the payments were not sufficiently documented and doubts remained on their legality, but no criminal intent was established, the prosecutor’s office said.