Once again, money has changed hands between Halliburton and Nigeria, but this time it’s all above board. Politico reports that $35 million is heading from Halliburton to Nigeria in response to "allegations of improper payments to government officials in Nigeria."
The word "allegations," in this case refers to Halliburton pleading guilty a year ago to claims that it paid more than $100 million to Nigerian government officials in connection with a $6 billion liquefied natural gas contract. To settle that, Halliburton and the United States government reached a $579 million settlement.
Now, Halliburton will be sending another $32.5 million (plus a couple million more for legal fees) to Nigeria to settle this situation once and for all. Former Vice President Dick Cheney had been one of nine individuals charged by the Nigerian government with being involved in this massive bribery case. Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton during the five-year period when these bribes supposedly occurred.
The Halliburton payment comes in exchange for all charges against individuals and the company being dropped. Cheney has dodged another legal bullet. (Insert hunting accident joke here.)
This Halliburton news comes during a time when the company is facing more criticism than it usually does. In November, the Environmental Protection Agency subpoenaed the energy company to disclose the chemicals it uses in hydraulic fracturing, a technique used for natural gas extraction. Just a month before that subpoena, a White House panel said the company used flawed cement for the BP oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico over the summer.
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