| July 27
July 27 Halliburton Co and KBR Inc
are battling in court over a $256 million tax dispute,
as the two companies seek to put to bed the various issues
lingering from their corporate break-up five years ago.
Especially in relation to work done for the U.S. military in
Iraq, Halliburton, the world's second-largest oilfield services
company, and its engineering spin-off have found themselves in
court a number of times since their split, usually on the same
Separately, Halliburton said in a regulatory filing on
Friday that it was investigating payments to third-party agents
relating to customs and visa matters in Iraq, as well as
payments made to an agent related to customs in Angola.
It gave no more details, except to say this was disclosed to
U.S. authorities last quarter during a meeting about a separate
investigation of Halliburton's Angola unit over possible Foreign
Corrupt Practice Act violations.
As for the Halliburton/KBR tax-sharing agreement, it covers
taxes for 2001 through their 2007 separation, which can only be
finalized once the tax authorities and both companies have
analyzed the results, Halliburton said.
Halliburton said it requested last quarter the appointment
of an arbitrator, in accordance with the agreement, to find that
KBR owed it $256 million.
But KBR denied it owes anything, arguing that Halliburton
actually owes it money under the agreement, and that the dispute
should be settled under the master separation agreement instead.
So on July 10, Halliburton filed suit in the District Court
of Harris County, Texas, to compel KBR to arbitrate it under the
tax sharing agreement. KBR said in its quarterly filing with
regulators this week that it was evaluating its response.
It is not the first time they have tussled over the terms of
their split. In 2010, Halliburton threatened to scrap its
indemnification of KBR for corruption charge penalties if KBR
decided to take control of a certain investigation.
That probe was related to some bribes on $6 billion worth of
contracts awarded to KBR for Nigeria's Bonny Island liquefied
natural gas project, a matter on which Halliburton finally
closed the book last year.