Image courtesy of Ole Jørgen Bratland/Statoil ASA.

Officials from Statoil met with police in Norway last week to discuss nearly $49 million in payments the company made to Angola’s state-owned oil firm following media reports on the matter.

According to Retuers, Statoil met with a white-collar crimes police unit to talk about $48.9 million, or 420 Norwegian crowns, in payments made to Angola’s Sonangol.

Statoil has denied any wrongdoing and told Reuters the payments were part of its contractual obligations in Angola.

Police officials told the news wire that no criminal investigation has been launched.

Norwegian Oil Minister Tord Lien said in a letter to the country’s parliament that the payments were made over a four-year period and were to be used to establish a research and technology center.

In a letter to Norway’s oil ministry seen by Reuters, Statoil said the payments “do not violate relevant anti-corruption legislation,” although the company did acknowledge there is “little available information” about the progress made in establishing the center.

Sonangol has not commented on the matter.

The Angolan continental shelf is the largest contributor to Statoil’s oil production outside of Norway.

Statoil has been in Angola since 1991 and is a partner in ten producing offshore fields that contribute 200,000 barrels of equity production per day to its portfolio.


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