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Vol 45 No 19

Published 24th September 2004


Swelling the great gas balloon

In camera testimony to a French judge drags more names through the Nigeriagate scandal

Halliburton, the United States' oil services company, was the prime mover behind a US$180 million slush fund linked to Nigeria's $10 billion gas export plant, according to several witnesses before a French judicial investigation. Africa Confidential has obtained transcripts and case notes from the investigation. In them, Halliburton is said to have made at least three multi-million dollar payments to the British lawyer at the centre of the affair, Jeffrey Tesler, and to have insisted on his reappointment in 1999 when its partners in the construction consortium wanted him sacked (AC Vol 45 Nos 13 & 18). The latest payment to Tesler, in 2002, was linked (a witness claimed) to the construction contract for the sixth 'train' or unit for the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant, agreed last month. Halliburton is under investigation on various counts in six different jurisdictions. Its former Chief Executive, Dick Cheney, is US Vice-President, standing for re-election in November.

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