Mexico wants Vitol to reveal name of Pemex official who received bribes

(Reuters) – Mexico wants Dutch energy giant Vitol (VITOLV.UL) to reveal the name of the state oil company official to whom Vitol paid bribes, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday.

Petróleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, is reviewing its contracts with Vitol in search of better terms after the company admitted to paying bribes in Mexico to win business. The Dutch firm has offered Pemex (PEMX.UL) $30 million as compensation for damages.

“Hopefully they will stop trying to solve the problem without saying who the official was who asked them for money,” López Obrador said in his morning press conference.

“We want the name of the person who supposedly received the money,” he said.

At the end of last year, Vitol agreed to pay $164 million to U.S. and Brazilian authorities after admitting it bribed officials in Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador between 2015 and 2020 to obtain and retain business with state oil companies in those countries.

A Pemex source said the company has insisted from the beginning on knowing the name of the officials involved in the bribery in order to take corrective measures, but could not specify whether this issue is key to reaching an agreement with Vitol on the compensation of damage.

A Vitol representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

In March, Pemex CEO Octavio Romero told Reuters that in its review of the Vitol contracts the company will look for irregularities and try to eliminate conditions it considers unfavorable. He added that if an agreement is not reached, work with the energy marketer will stop.

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