WASHINGTON – The non-profit Global Witness accused Exxon Mobil Thursday of paying $120 million in 2013 to gain access to an oil field in Liberia they knew had been obtained illegally by former politicians of the West African nation.
Global Witness claims it has an internal Exxon document in which the Texas oil giant says it is interested in the oil field but has “concern over issues regarding US anti-corruption laws.”
In a statement, Exxon said the payment was approved by Liberia’s Legislature and made public to comply with international anti-corruption regulations. But neither did the company deny knowledge of who would benefit from the sale of the block.
“We are confident that the agreement complies with local Liberian law and international anti-corruption laws,” an Exxon spokesman said in an email. “Any questions about bonuses paid by [National Oil Company of Liberia], you would need to discuss that with them.” [read more]