Statoil employee under investigation

June 4, 2003, 14:00 CEST

Statoil has received information from the company Rheinhold and Mahla (R&M) that a person previously employed by R&M has made assertions that unauthorised payments were made from an R&M employee to a Statoil employee in the period 1998-2000.

Statoil and the management of R&M contacted the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim) as soon as they became aware of the claims.

"We take a very serious view of such claims and we will do everything we can to assist the police in their enquiries," says Stig Bergseth, senior vice president for health, safety and the environment in Statoil.

Mr Bergseth emphasises that Statoil has a policy of openness in cases like this, but points out that these assertions are currently under investigation.

Statoil has also initiated an internal inquiry.