The Snamprogetti offices in Milan, Italy, were searched by authorities last Friday over on-going investigations into the bribery of Nigerian officials by the TSKJ consortium between 1994 and 2004.

Although ENI, Snamprogetti's parent company wouldn't comment directly on the raid, Filippo Cotalini, external communications manager said, "On the facts relating to the TSKJ consortium arising from the period before 2004, there is an inquiry under way by Milan prosecutors, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the US Justice Department, who will ascertain facts and ultimately responsibility.

"Eni and Saipem-Snamprogetti have voluntarily been in contact with investigators for some time to provide them the utmost cooperation."

The bribery allegations relate to improper payments made by the TSKJ consortium to Nigerian public officials in relation to the construction of natural gas liquefaction facilities at Bonny Island in Nigeria.

The TSKJ consortium at the time of the payments comprised US energy services giant Halliburton, France's Technip and TotalFinaElf, Japan's JGC Corporation and Snamprogetti.

In February this year, KBR and its former parent company, Haliburton, announced it had reached a settlement with the SEC and the US Department of Justice with respect to the allegations as well as other unspecified matters.

As part of the settlement, KBR pleaded guilty to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges and both KBR and Haliburton agreed to pay fines and cooperate with the SEC regarding civil settlements.

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