Oil and gas companies do business in countries where bribery and corruption run rampant. Some of the most oil and gas-rich countries also find themselves at the bottom of Transparency International’s corruption perception index. Prominent examples span the globe, including Nigeria (134th out of 178 countries), Russia (153rd), Venezuela (164th) and Iraq (175th). Thus, dealing with bribery and corruption, and the legal frameworks governing them are an integral part of the oil and gas business. The Bribery Act 2010 (UK), which comes into effect in July 2011 sets a new highwater mark for anti-corruption legislation, changing the framework dealing with corruption for many operators in the oil and gas industry, large and small. Addressing this change will require proactive steps given the Act’s broad scope of application and strict provisions.
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