Tag Archives: Halliburton

BP’s Secret Caspian Sea Blowout Foreshadowed The Gulf Oil Spill


BP, government leaders, and other oil executives covered up a secret blowout in the Caspian Sea two years before the Gulf spill caused by the same reason.

BBC investigative reporter and Guardian reporter Greg Palast reveals shocking details about a secret blowout that BP covered up which occurred on the Central Azeri platform of the coast of Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea two years prior to the Deepwater Horizon Blowout.

Greg reveals how he was contacted by a source and then flew to Azerbaijan to document BP’s cover up of the blowout which was caused by a blowout in the cement used when drilling the well, just like during the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

Greg learned that the Caspian blowout was die to the use of a quick drying cement that is highly prone to failure when exposed to gases, such as methane, during the drilling process.

For that reason, following the Caspian Sea blowout, the use of the quick drying cement should have been discontinued in the use of deep-sea drilling operations.

Yet BP continued to recklessly use it anyway for the sake of being able to increase profits and cut costs by drilling wells faster.

Two years later when the Deepwater Horizon Blowout occurred BP played dumb and pointed fingers at Halliburton for the cement job failure even going as far as testifying under oath before Congress they didn’t know cement could fail.

Meanwhile, Halliburton who did the cement job for BP on the well, pointed fingers at BP saying as a contractor performing all work according to BP’s specifications they were not responsible.

These new revelations reveal that BP knew full well the cement would fail and the Caspian blowout taught them full well what the risks were the next time a well failed.

Adding insult to injury, the media ran repeated footage of BP and other Big Oil executive’s testifying before congress that the BP Gulf Oil Spill was unprecedented and nothing like this had ever happened in history.

Even more sickening, as documented by Wikileaks ambassador cables showed in the interview, is the entire time these psychopaths where lying to congress on national televisions, the U.S. government and other world leaders knew about the Azerbaijan blowout.

BP committed what is nothing less than reckless manslaughter if not outright second degree murder of 11 people when the rig exploded.

Congress and other oil executives help them to cover it and it was all to achieve nothing more than being able save money by drilling wells faster.

Meanwhile, the Gulf remains pollution with oil still washing up on shore as giant plumes float beneath the water’s surface and massive slicks continue to be spotted coming from the site site of the blowout

The BP Gulf Oil Spill Cover Up Continues! Watch the entire interview.



Nigeria: Where Are Halliburton’s Accomplices?



Penultimate week, Albert Jack Stanley, a former chief executive officer of Kellogg Brown & Root Incorporated, an engineering subsidiary of Halliburton Company, was sentenced to 30 months in prison by a Texas, USA court. The previous day, it was the turn of Wojciech Chodan, a 74-year-old retired sales executive from Somerset, United Kingdom, who got jailed for two years. Their crime was paying bribes to Nigerian politicians and government officials to secure construction contracts worth $6 billion for the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Bonny Island in contravention of the American Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In the massive decade-long bribery scheme, huge sums of money totalling $180 million were stuffed in briefcases and ferreted to Nigeria as kickbacks. Sadly, the Nigerian politicians and government officials who were similarly indicted in the scam have not been successfully prosecuted.

In spite of the sustained public outcry for all those involved in the Halliburton bribery scandal to be prosecuted by the Nigerian authorities, especially since the dirty secrets were exposed by the high-powered panel led by ex-Inspector-General of Police Mike Okiro. At the height of the controversy, all the indicted persons and corporate bodies were billed to face prosecution, including former US Vice President Dick Cheney, who at one time led Halliburton in the bribery scheme. In an unprecedented global compromise, the charges were dropped, after Halliburton agreed to pay a $35 million settlement. Foreign court trials and convictions notwithstanding, the Nigerian government keeps vacillating on the trial of Halliburton’s accomplices in this country.

The closest we came to seeing justice served was the arraignment of Mr Sunday Bodunde Adeyanju, an aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2010. However, EFCC’s prosecution was nothing but a charade devoid of diligence. At the worst of times, Nigeria’s then attorney-general, Michael Aondoaaka, entered a nolle prosequi under Section 174 (1) (c) of the 1999 Constitution, thus ensuring that the foreigners involved never faced prosecution. This cast a pall of insincerity on the trial.

While it may be argued that the payment of fines by these major companies represents an implicit acknowledgement of guilt by the affected firms (and so constitutes a gesture of remorse), we shudder at why the government cannot go the whole hog to bring the perpetrators to book. The recent sentencing of Stanley and Chodan should inspire Nigerian authorities to reignite the staid war against corruption. It is in the wider interest of the society for the rich and powerful to be punished for the crimes they commit.

It is only when the federal government rids the country of economic crimes that the much-desired foreign direct investment can come from viable and credible companies in countries where trans-border graft is severely punished.

The veil on the Nigerian criminals indicted in the scandal should be lifted by the EFCC and a wholehearted prosecution effected.


A spill settlement could leave Halliburton cash for buybacks


If negotiations between the federal government and companies linked to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill lead to a settlement with Halliburton, it could present an opportunity for the company to repurchase some of its stock and boost its share prices, an analyst said Monday.

“A Macondo resolution would allow the company to resume buying back stock and expect Halliburton to be a relative outperformer,” Barclays Capital wrote in a Monday morning analyst’s note.

Halliburton was the cement contractor on BP’s Macondo well, which blew out in April 2010, killing 11 workers on Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spilling an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

The federal government has filed suit alleging Clean Water Act violations that could result in billions of dollars in fines, depending on how a federal court apportions culpability for the spill and whether it finds the disaster resulted from gross negligence.

In the first quarter Halliburton booked a $300 million charge for estimated loss contingencies related to the accident. Analysts have said that Halliburton estimates the total loss it will incur to be about $1 billion.

The company has been conserving its cash in preparation for a possible payout, and now has about $2.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Barclays believes some of that might be available for a stock buyback when the litigation is resolved.

Halliburton’s stock has been volatile in the two years since the accident, pulled in opposite directions by uncertainty surrounding its spill liability and by its role as a major provider of oil field services technology that’s driving the boom in oil and gas production from shale formations. Its shares fell from $34.96 just before the accident to $28.63 that summer, then reached a high of $57.20 in July 2011. In the past year, the low price of natural gas and drop in natural gas drilling has contribute to another stock decline, and it now hovers around $28, a price that analysts believe does not reflect its underlying value.

“Despite the challenges in the North American Markets that have weighed on the shares, HAL remains a best-in-class domestic franchise and internationally volumes are trending higher and we expect margins to improve throughout the year,” Barclays wrote.Source


Revisiting The Hulliburton Case


Monday, April 16, 2012

FROM all indications, the Halliburton bribery case has gone the way of other scandals – under the carpet. An Abuja High Court recently struck out the case because the prosecution failed to arraign the three suspects involved for the one year the trial lasted.


Throughout the duration of the trial, the agencies prosecuting the case could not produce the 14 witnesses that were scheduled to testify against the three suspects. The suspects in the case – a former permanent secretary in the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, retired Air Vice Marshall Abdullahi Bello and Mohammed Bukari – have thus been set free.

IN the Halliburton case, improper payments totalling $182 million was established to have been made to ensure a favourable consideration of the company’s bid for a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) contract. It is one of those scandals that have been widely celebrated and highly sensational largely because of their international dimension. In its bid to demonstrate some measure of seriousness with the fight against corruption, the Federal Government under the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, set up an inter-agency panel to investigate the scam and bring the culprits to book. The panel, which included the police, the State Security Service (SSS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), was headed by a former Inspector – General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro. The agencies were reported to have undertaken to produce different number of witnesses but they all failed to fulfil their promises.

IT is indeed not a surprise because it is in the character of Nigeria to so behave. It is, however, a matter of deep regret that after the bad image and international embarrassment, the Halliburton case has been so badly bungled. At the time the Okiro panel was set up, there were high expectations that the Halliburton case would be the beginning of serious handling of corruption cases. The high expectations stemmed from the categorical assurance of the government that all those found culpable would be duly punished no matter their status in the society. The government said it was in possession of documents which were expected to strengthen its hands in dealing decisively with those involved in the scandal. It is now evident that either the government was swayed from its initial line of action, or its initial expression of seriousness was sheer playacting.

WHILE Nigeria was engaged in prosecutorial dilly-dallying in a case that was programmed to fail, two Britons and an American were sentenced by a court in Texas, United States, to various terms of imprisonment and fined different amounts of money. It has since come to light that the Okiro panel in the course of its investigations interrogated only the small fries while the principal characters were left untouched. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria at that time, Mr. Robin Sanders, said that necessary documents needed by the Nigerian authorities to prosecute the case had been made available but – as it has now become apparent – the evidence has not been put to use. It is a sad reflection on the sincerity of the government about the much-hyped anti-corruption crusade.

HALLIBURTON is not the only foreign firm to be involved in a scandalous deal with Nigerian officials. Another American company – Wilbros – distributed $6 million to top officials of the Federal Government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS). Some chieftains of the ruling party – the Peoples Democratic Party – also benefited from the bribe payments. In the case of the German firm, Siemens, five Nigerians were named as receivers of a 10 million Euros bribe. All the foreigners and foreign corporate institutions involved in the case have been made to face the wrath of the law in their different countries. The story has only been different in Nigeria where culprits in corruption cases are – as a standard practice – left to enjoy and flaunt their ill-gotten wealth. But for the fact that the names of those involved in the Siemens case were made public in Germany, their identities would have remained, like others, under wraps as a state secret.

AT the time former Delta State governor, James Ibori, should be on trial in Nigeria for his various misdeeds, he was enjoying the protection of the government and wielding influence in the corridors of power. At the end of the day, he further sullied Nigeria’s already battered image by going to a foreign land to plead guilty to the crimes that were covered up in Nigeria when Chief Michael Aondoakaa functioned as the omnipotent Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.

IT is highly regrettable that a serious case as the Halliburton bribery scandal could be struck out for lack of diligent prosecution. Many other cases have been similarly swept under the carpet. This is a very unfortunate trend in a country in which development is being stunted by corruption. It has made manifest what the government has been striving to conceal – that the anti-corruption campaign is nothing but sheer sloganeering.Source


The Victims of Halliburton and TSKJ Scandals


Just as there is confusion over the name of the major oil company involved in the bribery scam for a gas plant in Nigeria, so also are the different lists of alleged beneficiaries. The story of bribery scandals by a consortium of foreign oil firms operating in Nigeria has resurfaced again with names of the main culprits who were actually involved lumped with alleged victims whose only offense is that they held sensitive offices at the period when the projects were awarded.

Sometimes between 2004 and 2005, this writer while working as a PR person at the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) was inundated with various enquiries from the foreign media on the alleged bribery. They sought to verify if the Chairman of the Commission, Engr. Hamman Tukur was aware of his name, allegedly featured in a handwritten note by an official of one of the oil companies.

As at that time the US Securities and Exchange Commission had subpoenaed documents from several multinational companies in an attempt to probe into the $170m alleged bribery for a gas plant on Bonny Island in Nigeria. The companies involved in the project including Shell of UK which was the largest private shareholder on the project, Total of France, Eni of Italy, Halliburton of US, NNPC of Nigeria and Marubeni conglomerate of Japan which acted as a subcontractor on the project.

The scandal in the first instance was leaked by a former executive of one of the foreign companies who was sidelined in the deal. The subsequent investigations largely centred on the conducts of TSKJ, the major contractor for structures of the gas plant which was said to have ‘picked up about $7bn worth of building contracts between 1995 and 2004.’ TSKJ is a global consortium that includes a subsidiary of Halliburton, which was claimed to be owned by a former Vice-President Dick Cheney of the US.

Precisely on September 19, 2005, one of the emails received by this writer came from Michael Peel an award-winning journalist with the Financial Times of UK. He has reported the oil sector and financial crimes in Africa which expose corporate corruption especially in multinational oil companies and the effect on the environment. Though I had refused to respond to his first email which came through yahoo address, thinking it was from those notorious 419ners. A Google search indicated that Peel had published a profile interview with former GMD of NNPC Mr. Gaius Obaseki. Before then, I had advised my Chairman to ignore the early questionnaire.

Subsequent enquiries from him and others provided insights into the alleged scandals. The award of the first railway contract was made to TSKJ in 1994 when Engr. Tukur was a board member of NLNG by virtue of being the Director General in the Ministry of Petroleum, a tradition in various ministries where senior officers are directors in related institutions and parastatals. Surprisingly Engr. Hamman Tukur did not last long when the former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha relieved him of his appointment.

Tukur’s name in the imbroglio stemmed from some notes by one William Chaudan, an employee of the TSKJ consortium, made of its meetings in the run-up to the 1994 contract award. The Peel’s email stated that: “A section of the notes, taken at an alleged ‘cultural meeting’ of consortium members in December 1993, is entitled ‘Marubeni suggestions.’ The section lists some people, next to the words ‘cover directly.’ Beneath, four other names of NLNG directors are listed next the words ‘already covered’. A note was said to be below that that says: ‘M requested approval and commitment for $30[m] for the above. Excludes Abacha, extra for Etiebet.’”

The Financial Times actually wanted to know whether the people named as “already covered” were offered or received bribes. Therefore the question by the reporter is to confirm “if any representative from TSKJ offer or give (gave) out money? If not, to confirm what the phrase “already covered” might mean?”

It was discovered that a number of notes suggest that the TSKJ partners were keen on hiding what they were doing. Notes of several so-called cultural meetings record discussions between TSKJ partners of “secret” and “open” commission payments. It was further revealed that at one point, another company Technip rejected a proposal as possibly opening up an opportunity for blackmail.

In my response to Peel’s enquiry on October 6, 2005, after speaking to Engr. Tukur on phone (who was then on a break in his hometown) I stated that “Engr. Tukur did not attend any nocturnal meeting for ulterior motives and was not aware of those coded messages and what they stood for in the notes.” I went on to clarify that “It might not be strange for individuals to impersonate others for extortions, in the name of fronting as link-person, a fraudulent practice that still exists.”

While some of the foreign media refused to mention names in their reports because of the risk and implications of indicting innocent victims from the main culprits, Financial Times was magnanimous enough in balancing the story even when it named names.

It is suspected that either the names of some innocent persons were featured to give the deal a semblance of legitimacy or some crooks were cunningly using other people’s name without authorisation, for fraudulent activities in the name of commission charges.

It is necessary to point out that as much as we keep accusing some of our leaders of corrupt practices, we must realise that there are many Nigerians that are honest, sincere and fighting corruption in various ways. Engr. Hamman Tukur has been a single individual that has stake his life to expose misdeed in the oil sectors, campaigned against misuse of revenues by the custodians at the federal and states levels and does not spare the Presidency and National Assembly in his acts and deed.

There are many honourable and distinguished Nigerians that are indeed very clean but not celebrated. One can even cite Tukur’s deputy at the commission, Alhaji Abu Gidado who is popularly referred to as an Incorruptible Minister during General Sani Abacha’s administration who could neither be bribed nor tempted as Chairman of Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) during the military era.

While it is agreeable that corrupt practices like bad news make the headlines, the media should be cautious in lumping innocents with criminals as the fifth columnists are presently out in full force to achieve hidden agenda towards their 2011 election. The government must also immediately investigate and prosecute those found wanting in the scam. It must also take further steps to blacklist the foreign collaborators and revoke the licenses of the foreign firms involved in this monumental scandal rubbishing the image of our country.

Apart from the victims whose names where wrongly or mischievously added to the list of Halliburton TSKJ Scandals, all citizens of Nigeria are victims of the damaging campaigns to the reputation of this great African nation. We are not all corrupt Source


Halliburton Lobby Groups

Lobby Groups

Halliburton is a member of the following lobby groups:

US Coalition of Service Industries (CSI or USCSI)
This is the largest services oriented lobby group in the United States.56 In a recent Senate hearing, Norman Sorensen, Chairman of the CSI’s Financial Services Group reminded everyone that ‘removing barriers to services trade is a very important U.S. policy objective. The service sector’s contribution to U.S. exports makes it imperative that the United States continue to open services markets abroad through agreements such as the US-Chile and US-Singapore Free Trade Agreements, which we believe should be implemented as soon as possible.’57 Included in its 44 illustrious members are AOL Time Warner, Microsoft and General Electric. Past members have included Enron ( the company that hid debt from its books in order to artificially inflate its value to shareholders and was also heavily involved in the illegal trading which led to the California energy crisis in 2000), Anderson (the accountants who helped them) and WorldCom (which inflated its profits by $4bn through false accounting). With prime access to elite government and corporate circles, its various corporate members gain handsomely from international trade agreements, from IMF or World Bank handouts, and from privatisation programs. The USCSI acts as the access point to trade policy for US services corporations.58

American Petroleum Institute (API)
This is the petroleum industry’s largest association which represents over 400 national and international companies 59

US Council for International Business (USCIB)
With its expressed purpose of getting business ‘a seat on the table’, the USCIB brings brings US corporate interests directly to ‘officials in the United Nations, European Union and a host of other governments and groups’.60 It was one of the most influential industry lobby groups that lobbied for the infamous Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) and is one of the key business coalitions pushing along business-friendly WTO and FTAA negotiations.61

Links with government

It is Halliburton’s unashamed ties to the US Administration and key think-tanks such as Project for a New American Century that has guaranteed it a smooth flow of large contracts. Current US vice president, Dick Cheney, was Hallibuton’s Chief Executive until 2000. He joined the company in 1995 after it was awarded the job of studying and then implementing the privatisation of routine army functions under the then secretary of defence… Dick Cheney. Unsurprisingly, Cheney is still being paid by Halliburton. When he left in 2000, he opted not to have his leaving payment in a lump sum, but instead to have it paid to him over five years, possibly for tax reasons. The obligatory disclosure statement filled by all top government officials says only that these yearly payments are in a range between $100,000 and $1 million. Nor is it clear how they are calculated.62
Several of the current directors of Halliburton have previously worked for the US government. For example, in October 2001, Ray L. Hunt was appointed by President George Bush to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Board, whilst Lawrence S. Eagleburger has held a variety of positions (see Board of Directors).63
Halliburton has also attempted to influence government decisions through cash donations. According to the Washington-based Centre for Responsive Politics, Halliburton gave 95 percent of its federal campaign contributions during the past two election cycles to the Republicans. Halliburton has also strongly supported the election funds of relevant chairmen of Senate and Congressional committees, including Ted Stevens, Republican chair of the appropriations committee.64
So far, government aid that has led to Halliburton contracts includes $2.71 billion from the US export-import bank, $1.11 billion from the World Bank, $611 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and $1.56 billion from other government sources.65

National Petroleum Council (NPC)
Halliburton’s CEO David J. Lesar is currently a member of the NPC, whilst director Ray L. Hunt has served as chairman. Although the NPC is not allowed to lobby or act as a trade group, it operates in an advisory role to the US Energy Department. The council’s 1999 natural gas report concluded that regulation was becoming a barrier to meeting rising demand. Partially overseen by then chief executive of Halliburton, Dick Cheney, the report became a frequently cited source book for policy debate in the days leading up to House passage of new energy legislation which opened up some of the US’s last unspoiled mountains, canyons and badlands.66

The strands of Dick Cheney’s business and policy interests come together in his support of a corporate coalition called USA*Engage.67 The mission of this coalition, with some 50 active companies and 600-plus total members, is to promote business ‘engagement’ and prevent US sanctions in response to human rights or other kinds of violations. Dick Cheney’s position on sanctions has been virtually identical to that of USA*Engage, and Halliburton has been an active member of USA*Engage and its campaigns against almost all forms of sanctions. For example, Cheney signed an amicus brief against the Massachusetts Burma law. Modeled on successful anti-apartheid legislation of the 1980s, the law would have prevented Massachusetts from doing business with companies doing business in Burma. The Massachusetts law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2002. Similarly, Cheney has opposed sanctions against almost all the countries that Halliburton does business in, including Iran, Libya and Azerbaijan. The one exception is Iraq, at least that is what he would have us believe (see Corporate Crimes). Now that Dick Cheney is back in government, his position on sanctions is likely to become more influential. Secretary of State Colin Powell has already echoed the sentiment of Cheney and USA*Engage, saying he wanted to reduce the use of sanctions as a foreign policy tool. This would leave Cheney’s ex-colleagues back at Halliburton freer than ever to pursue profits where environmental and human rights norms are disregarded. Among the sanctions USA*Engage seeks to eliminate are those against the pariah regime of Burma, even though the leader of the democratically elected party, Aung San Suu Kyi, has expressed her support for the sanctions. If USA*Engage is successful, Halliburton may resume dealings with the Burmese military dictatorship, a destructive engagement that could extend Burma’s nightmare. Dick Cheney’s pro-engagement, anti-sanctions policies have remained consistent whether he is in government or business. These policies might be summarised as, ‘what’s good for Halliburton is good for the world, and vice versa.’

Think tanks

Several of Halliburton’s directors have sat on the boards of influential think tanks. These include:

Trilateral Commission
Halliburton directors, C.J. Silas and L.S. Eagleburger, have both been members of the Trilateral Commission.68 According to Senator Barry Goldwater, the Trilateral Commission ‘is international and is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the US.’69

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
Halliburton director Lawrence S. Eagleburger has twice been a member of the CFR (1988, 2001).70 According to its literature, the CFR ‘is dedicated to increasing America’s understanding of the world and contributing ideas to U.S. foreign policy. The Council accomplishes this mainly by promoting constructive debates and discussions, clarifying world issues, and publishing Foreign Affairs.’71

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Halliburton director Ray L. Hunt is on the board of trustees of CSIS, a private organisation head-quartered in Washington DC. According to its web site, it has ‘been dedicated to providing world leaders with strategic insights on — and policy solutions to — current and emerging global issues.’ CSIS is dominated by members with strong ties to the US government and private industry.72

Influencing Education
Halliburton and the US Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) signed an agreement whereby Halliburton will give priority hiring status to soldiers taking part in the Partnership for Youth Success Program (PaYS). The agreement begins at the enlistment process with new recruits signing a letter of intent to work for Halliburton upon completion of their term of service. They are then groomed for a new life in Halliburton as part of their army training. As the end of their term approaches, the lucky soldiers will have the opportunity to interview with Halliburton for a job.Source

Corporate Crimes:Halliburton Plc.

Presented below is a mere taster of the foul world of Halliburton and is by no means a comprehensive overview of the company’s corporate crimes. The company has been accused of a wealth of misdemeanours, including racial discrimination, not allowing its employees to file discrimination suits and of being viciously anti-union. ‘Brown & Root as an entity has never had a labor agreement,’ claims Dale Wortham, president of the Harris County AFL-CIO in Houston. ‘They have been one of the most anti-union, anti-worker corporations in the world.’74

Respect for human rights
Halliburton has succeeded by partnering or engaging with governments around the world –– including some of the most repressive regimes in the world – and has been complicit in numerous human rights violations. In order to do business with dictators and despots, Halliburton has skirted US sanctions and made considerable efforts to eliminate those sanctions. Halliburton’s dealings in seven countries – Burma, Cuba, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Nigeria – show the extent of its willingness to do business where human rights are not respected.75

Adventures in Burma…
‘We don’t do business in Burma,’ claims Halliburton spokesperson Wendy Hall. But while the company may have no current direct investments in Burma, it has participated in a number of energy development projects there, including the notorious Yadana and Yetagun pipelines. Prior to the gas pipeline’s construction, the Burmese military forcibly relocated towns along the onshore route. According to the US Department of Labor, ‘credible evidence exists that several villages along the route were forcibly relocated or depopulated in the months before the production-sharing agreement was signed.’76 According to an Earth Rights report: ‘From 1992, until the present (2000), thousands of villagers in Burma were forced to work in support of these pipelines and related infrastructure. They lost their homes due to forced relocation and were raped, tortured and killed by soldiers hired by companies as security guards for the pipelines.’77 In addition, as the largest foreign investment project in Burma, the pipelines will provide revenue to prop up the regime, perhaps for decades to come.

Shortly before the US presidential election, Dick Cheney admitted on the Larry King Live! show that Halliburton had done contract work in Burma. Cheney defended the project by saying that Halliburton had not broken the US law imposing sanctions on Burma, which forbids new investments in the country. ‘You have to operate in some very difficult places and oftentimes in countries that are governed in a manner that’s not consistent with our principles here in the United States,’ Cheney told Larry King. ‘But the world’s not made up only of democracies.’ Halliburton’s engagement in Burma predates Dick Cheney’s tenure as CEO. Halliburton had an office in Rangoon as early as 1990, two years after the military regime took power by voiding the election of the National League for Democracy, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi. In the early 1990’s, Halliburton Energy Services joined with Alfred McAlpine (UK) to provide pre-commissioning services to the Yadana pipeline. In 1997, after Dick Cheney joined Halliburton, the Yadana field developers hired European Marine Services (EMC) to lay the 365-kilometer offshore portion of the Yadana gas pipeline. EMC is a 50-50 joint venture between Halliburton and Saipem of Italy. From July to October 1997, EMC installed the 360-inch diameter line using its pipelaying barges. The route followed by Halliburton and Saipem was chosen by the Burmese government to minimize costs, even though the onshore pipeline path would cut through politically sensitive areas inhabited by ethnic minorities in the Tenasserim region of Burma. Given the Burmese military’s well-documented history of human rights violations and brutality, human rights groups say the western companies knew or should have known that human rights crimes would accompany Burmese troops into the onshore pipeline region. They say there was ample evidence in the public domain that such violations were already occurring when Halliburton chose to lay pipe for the project. As Katie Redford, a lawyer with EarthRights International puts it, ‘To be involved in the Yadana pipeline is to knowingly accept brutal violations of human rights as part of doing business.’

The US Navy announced in June 2003 that it had awarded Halliburton a $12.5 million contract to build new troop facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where suspected al Qaeda prisoners are being held and may be tried before military tribunals.78 This is in addition to the $33 million contract it received to build the US detention camp where 641 Al-Qaida suspects are being illegally detained and denied the basic rights guaranteed to Prisoners of War under the Third Geneva Convention. Reports suggest that they are being subjected to ‘torture lite’ – being deprived of sleep and subjected to constant bright light.79 The new contract, awarded to subsidiary, Brown & Root Services, will build sleeping quarters as well as dining facilities for troops, construct traffic control checkpoints, and reinforce detention buildings in case of extreme weather, the Pentagon said.

Dick Cheney lobbied to remove Congressional sanctions against aid to Azerbaijan, sanctions imposed because of concerns about ethnic cleansing. Cheney said the sanctions were the result only of groundless campaigning by the Armenian-American lobby. In 1997, Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root bid on a major Caspian project from the Azerbaijan International Operating Company.80

Halliburton had extensive investments and contracts in Suharto’s Indonesia. One of its contracts was cancelled by the post-Suharto government during a purging of corruptly awarded contracts. Indonesia Corruption Watch named Kellogg Brown & Root (Halliburton’s engineering division) among 59 companies using collusive, corruptive and nepotistic practices in deals involving former President Suharto’s family.81

Dick Cheney has lobbied against the current government Iran-Libya Sanctions Act which prohibits US corporations from virtually all trade and investment with Iran. Even with the Act in place, Halliburton has continued to operate in Iran. The company opened an office in Iran via its Cayman Island subsidiary, Halliburton Products and Services Ltd. Two major investors, the New York City Police and Fire Pension funds, have asked Halliburton to review its operations in Iran because of corporate ties to states sponsoring terrorist activities. Halliburton settled with the Department of Commerce in 1997, before Cheney became CEO, over allegations relating to Iran for $15,000, without admitting any wrongdoing.82

Dick Cheney cited multilateral sanctions against Iraq as an example of sanctions he supported. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Cheney said Halliburton did business with Libya and Iran through foreign subsidiaries, but maintained he had imposed a ‘firm policy’ against trading with Iraq. ‘Iraq’s different,’ the Post quoted him as saying. Despite this it was subsequently revealed that Halliburton had signed contracts with Iraq worth $73 million while Cheney was at the helm.83 Since the decision to invade Iraq was made public, people have come to accept the inevitability of the reconstruction process. However, a story reported in the Wall Street Journal on the 16th of January claimed that the vice president’s office met with Halliburton and members of other companies as far back as October 2002 to plan oil production in Iraq.84 So far, Halliburton has gained $500 million worth of work in Iraq. The ceiling of how much it could potentially earn in its contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers currently stands at $7billion.85

Before Cheney’s arrival, Halliburton was deeply involved in Libya, earning $44.7 million there in 1993. After sanctions on Libya were imposed, earnings dropped to $12.4 million in 1994. Halliburton continued doing business in Libya throughout Cheney’s tenure. One Member of Congress accused the company ‘of undermining American foreign policy to the full extent allowed by law.’86

Local villagers have accused Halliburton of complicity in the shooting of a protester by Nigeria’s Mobile Police Unit, playing a similar role to Shell and Chevron in the mobilisation of the ‘kill and go’ unit to protect company property. Additionally, in May 2003, Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, revealed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it paid bribes totalling $2.4 million to a tax official in Nigeria in an effort to obtain favourable tax treatment. The company may have to pay as much as $5 million in back taxes to the Nigerian government.87

Corporate corruption
In April 2002 Halliburton decided to replace the discredited Arthur Anderson LLP accounting firm with KPMG LLP. This is despite CEO Dave Lesar’s claim that ‘for more than 50 years Andersen has provided Halliburton with outstanding audit services and adhered to a high standard of professionalism’.88
A brief look at Anderson’s history suggests that Lesar’s definition of ‘professionalism’ is slightly unusual. The accounting firm was ordered to pay $500,000 and sentenced to five years probation in October 2002 for obstructing justice in a probe of its client Enron.89 This was in addition to a $7 million fine in June 2002, the biggest civil penalty ever assessed against a Big Five accounting firm, after the SEC said its audits of Waste Management’s financial statements were ‘false and misleading.’ Anderson also provided a change in accounting rules enabling Halliburton to collect on cost overruns on myriad construction projects. This meant that Halliburton was able to inflate profits by $234 million over a four-year period. When the Securities and Exchange Commission found out, more than a dozen law suits emerged alleging fraud and they began an ongoing probe for questionable accounting practices. 90 According to the Government Accounting Office (GAO), Halliburton has also seriously overrun its budget in Bosnia by almost £300 million. The GAO suspects foul play.91

Attempting to avoid paying-up for asbestos claims
Since 1976, approximately 578,000 asbestos claims have been filed against Halliburton.92 In December 2002, the company reached a settlement for around $4.2 billion under which it will have to legally restructure, followed by pre-packaged bankruptcy filings of DII Industries and Kellogg Brown & Root Inc.
Unfortunately, Halliburton itself won’t be bankrupted by these claims as most of the costs will be covered by Halliburton’s liability insurance. However, they could seriously affect share prices as Moody’s Investor Services are considering cutting Halliburton’s share ratings.93
However, it seems as though Halliburton’s cosy connections could have got them off this one. The idea of limiting asbestos liability has been kicking around in Congress for years and the company has contributed more than $100,000 to legislators who support the notion. Cheney even kicked in $13,500 when he was a corporate officer.94

Security lapses and radioactive leaks at nuclear dockyard
Halliburton runs Devonport Management Ltd (DML). DML has controlled the Devonport dockyards in Plymouth (South West England) since they were privatised in 1985. It is here that the UK’s Trident nuclear submarines are currently being refitted and four are decommissioned.
A Red Pepper article revealed the threat posed to the health and safety of the people of Plymouth by the negligence of DML and the UK government, who have allowed increased levels of radioactive pollution (tritium) to leak into the River Tamar, and have failed to mend the serious cracks in the coolant systems of the UK’s nuclear submarines.Source

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