Weatherford International Ltd., a Swiss joint-stock corporation, is a multinational provider of equipment and services used in the drilling, evaluation, completion, production and intervention of oil and natural gas wells.
In August 1990, the U.N. adopted Security Council Resolution 661, which prohibited U.N. member-states from transacting business with Iraq, except for the purchase and sale of humanitarian supplies. In April 1995, the U.N. adopted Security Council Resolution 986, a limited exception to Resolution 661 which allowed Iraq to sell its oil so long as the proceeds from oil sales were used by the Iraqi government to purchase humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people. The U.N. controlled the proceeds from all sales of Iraqi oil and approved payments to suppliers of humanitarian goods. This program became known as the Oil for Food Program. Beginning in approximately August 2000, the Iraqi government demanded that suppliers of humanitarian goods pay a kickback, usually valued at 10% of the contract price, to the Government of the Republic of Iraq in order to be awarded a contract by the government. Suppliers often caused the U.N. to unknowingly fund these improper kickbacks by including the cost of the kickbacks in the contract price.
Up to 2003, Weatherford participated in the U.N. Oil-For-Food program. Beginning in 2006, the DOJ and SEC undertook investigations of the company's participation in the program, as well as other potential FCPA and trade violations. These investigations culminated in enforcement actions by both the DOJ and SEC, and Weatherford paid approximately $153 million to resolve the FCPA claims against it.