Parker Drilling to pay about $15.9M in settlement

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HOUSTON (AP) — Parker Drilling said Tuesday that it will pay approximately $15.9 million to settle investigations by the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission related to possible violations of laws including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The Justice Department said in a statement that it will be paid approximately $11.8 million by the drilling contractor to resolve charges related to the FCPA for authorizing payment to an intermediary when the company knew that the payment would be used to corruptly influence the decisions of a Nigerian government panel reviewing Parker Drilling's adherence to Nigerian customs and tax laws.

The Justice Department said that Parker Drilling agreed to pay the SEC an additional total of about $4.1 million. The SEC had filed a civil complaint against Parker Drilling charging it with violating the FCPA's anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions.

Parker Drilling, which also offers drilling services and provides rental tools, said that it fully cooperated with the investigations and that the settlement amount was recorded as a fourth-quarter charge.

"We will continue to maintain a vigorous FCPA compliance program, to emphasize the importance of compliance and ethical business conduct, and to enhance our compliance efforts," President and CEO Gary Rich said in a statement.

Parker Drilling Co., which is based in Houston, said that the SEC agreement is contingent on approval by the U.S. District Court.

Parker Drilling's stock added 4 cents to $4.04 in afternoon trading. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $3.61 to $6.18.

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