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U.S. Oil Firms Entwined in Equatorial Guinea Deals

Author: Justin Bloom, Washington Post, Published on: 7 September 2004

The [oil] companies paid for scholarships for children of [Equatorial Guinea]'s leaders, formed business ventures with government officials, hired companies linked to [President] Obiang and rented property from government officials and their relatives, according to a U.S. Senate report released in July that reveals the companies' operations in striking detail...The oil companies named in the Senate report declined to answer specific questions about operations in Equatorial Guinea or did not return phone calls...[S]aid Jay R. Wilson, a spokesman for [Amerada] Hess..."We think we do business very ethically." At a Senate hearing in July...Steven Guidry, an official with Marathon, said that the company recognized the concerns about human rights abuses. "Our presence in the country, we think, goes a great distance toward improving conditions in Equatorial Guinea..." Guidry said. Andrew Swiger, an executive vice president at Exxon Mobil, said at the hearing..."In such countries, it is sometimes necessary to do business with a government official or a close relative of a government official. But it is still expected that we do business ethically and comply with all U.S. and local laws."...Nicholas De'Ath, a former executive with Triton [part of Amerada Hess]...said his company made no improper payments during the time he was in Equatorial Guinea. [also refers to Walter International, ExxonMobil, Riggs Bank, ChevronTexaco, Devon Energy, CMS Energy, Vanco Energy, ABB Vetco Gray (part of ABB), Halliburton]

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Related companies: ABB Chevron CMS Energy Devon Energy ExxonMobil Halliburton Hess Corporation Marathon Oil Riggs Bank (now part of PNC Financial Services) Triton Energy (part of Amerada Hess) Vanco Energy Vetco Gray (part of Vetco International) Vetco International