Tel: +44(0)29 2087 6289
Fax: +44(0)29 2087 4175

Home | Reports | Briefings | Cases | Corruption Resources | Corruption Archive | Multinationals | International Financiers | Countries | Sectors | OECD Anti-Bribery Convention | Corruption Cases | Whistle blowing Cases | Work With Us | Mailing List | Links | About Us

Baker Hughes Settles with Whistleblower : Corruption Case

In October 2003, US oil-field services company Baker Hughes said it settled a lawsuit by a former worker whose accusations that bribes were paid to secure a lucrative Nigerian contract are under federal investigation.

Alan Ferguson sued in March 2002, saying he was fired from the Houston company after he complained that a kickback scheme was used to secure a Nigerian oil service contract worth $70 million to $110 million, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits improper payments to secure business in a foreign country.

In August 2003, it was reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) broadened its investigation into Baker Hughes' business practices in Nigeria to include Angola and Kazakhstan. The US oilfield services giant says it will cooperate fully, and will conduct its own investigations, too.

The probe stems from a March 2002 complaint by former employee Alan Ferguson, who claimed he was fired for not going along with a bribery scheme to win a contract with Shell Nigeria in 1999 (EC Apr.5'02,p10). Ferguson sued Baker Hughes, seeking back pay and damages.

In 2001, Baker Hughes settled with the SEC in connection with allegations it authorized a $75,000 bribe to an Indonesian tax official in 1999 and improper payments of $15,000 and $10,000 to agents in India and Brazil. It did not admit or deny the charges.

The following lists all references contained in our database that are relevant to this briefing
International Oil Daily [10/8/2003] 'Baker Hughes Settles Suit' [Source ID = 8896]

Energy Compass [8/14/2003] 'US authorities broaden probe into Baker Hughes' [Source ID = 8899] [6/11/2004] 'Halliburton Venture in Nigeria Investigated by SEC' : [Source ID = 11705]

The Economist [3/2/2002] 'The short arm of the law - Bribery and business' : [Source ID = 13519]

The International Herald Tribune [5/18/2005] 'Greasing the wheels of business' by Paul Burnham Finney: [Source ID = 13662]


UNICORN is a Global Unions Anti-corruption Network. It is supported by the international trade union bodies: the TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD); Public Services International (PSI); and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).

UNICORN is financed by the Foundation Open Society Institute