Oil services company Petrofac may quit its operations in the North Sea as it struggles to deal with a $1 billion debt and a bribery investigation.
The company, which employs approximately 4,000 North Sea workers and has an Aberdeen base, has hired consultants to explore its options, including a possible sale.
Petrofac is one of four big suppliers of operations and maintenance services to North Sea oil and gas producers. But its share value has dropped 75% since 2013, due partly to the depressed oil price and partly due to a bribery investigation being conducted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Petrofac shares fell by 14% one day in May when the SFO announced it was investigating the company.
The problems facing Petrofac cannot be blamed solely on the bribery investigation. But there is no doubt that it has contributed hugely to the falling value of the company.
Whatever Petrofac’s future holds, its current predicament indicates clearly the problems associated with bribery – and the importance of takings steps to prevent it. These are points we have made repeatedly.
Read our article: THE HUGE COSTS OF BRIBERY