U.K.-based offshore drilling contractor Ensco announced this week that the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission do not intend to bring enforcement actions in connection with a previously disclosed investigation into alleged irregularities related to a drilling services contract.
In a Form 8-K filing, dated Sept. 4. Ensco said it received a letter on Aug. 29 from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement informing Ensco that it “has concluded its investigation into alleged irregularities related to a drilling services contract for ENSCO DS-5 and does not intend to recommend any enforcement action against the company.”
In addition, Ensco said it received a letter from the Department of Justice on Aug. 31 stating that it, too, “had closed its inquiry into the matter and acknowledging Ensco’s full cooperation in the investigation.”
Ensco previously disclosed an internal investigation of alleged irregularities related to a drilling services agreement between an acquired subsidiary, Pride International, and Brazil state-owned oil gas company Petrobras for ENSCO DS-5 that was executed in 2008.
After becoming aware of the alleged irregularities in 2015, Ensco voluntarily contacted the SEC and the Justice Department “to advise them of the investigation and continued to update and cooperate with both agencies over the course of the investigation,” according to the company.
“The company’s investigation did not identify any evidence that Pride or Ensco or any of their current or former employees were aware of or involved in any wrongdoing,” Ensco stated.
On Aug. 16, Petrobras and Ensco announced that they had “agreed to a settlement of all claims relating to the ENSCO DS-5 drilling services agreement.”
Terms of the agreement are confidential, and no payments will be made by either party in connection with this settlement.
“The parties also agreed to normalize business relations,” Ensco announced. “As a result, the agreement provides for Ensco’s participation in current and future Petrobras tenders on the same basis as all other companies invited to these tenders.”