Oil company is fined 85 million


Norwegian authorities have fined oil company, EPH, 85 million for alleged tax fraud, reported Dagens Næringsliv (DN) newspaper. Two individuals are accused in the case.

According to Dagens Næringsliv, former CEO, Christian Selmer, was informed on Thursday that he is charged with aggravated tax evasion of almost 300 million.

‘I think that there is no basis for the charges, and was very surprised at Økokrim’s decision’, said Selmer.

From reliable sources, DN also confirmed that former finance director, Arne Helland, of seismic company, TGS-Nopec Geophysical, has been prosecuted by Økokrim. His lawyer, Bjørn Stordrange, didn’t want to comment on Thursday night when asked about the charges.

The case revolves around a comprehensive agreement between EPH and TGS. Norwegian authorities believe, according to the indictment signed by Public Prosecutor Marianne Bender, that the objectives were only to obtain reimbursement from the state.

‘The acquisition of seismic etc. were structured so that Skeie Energy AS did not even have any costs whatsoever associated with taking over ownership of seismic and/or acquisition of seismic etc. The deal was not signed to create economic benefits, says the indictment according to DN.

EPH was formerly known as Skeie Energy, and is controlled by Bjarne Skeie in Kristiansand. The case against him has been dropped, said Tom B. Knutsen, lawyer and chairman of EPH. Asked whether the company will accept the fine, he said, ‘We have not even thought about it,we will consider this in the days ahead.

TGS has been indicted in the case, but Dagens Næringsliv does not know whether this has resulted in a financial penalty or not.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today