Company to Pay $100 Million for Export Violations, the Largest Civil Penalty in BIS History

On November 26, 2013, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) reported that Weatherford International Ltd., a Houston, Texas, company and four of its subsidiaries (collectively, "Weatherford") have agreed to pay a $50 million civil penalty to settle allegations that Weatherford exported oil and gas equipment to Iran, Syria and Cuba in violation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). BIS also alleged that Weatherford exported items controlled for nuclear non-nonproliferation reasons to Venezuela and Mexico. Weatherford conducted the transactions with knowledge that violations of U.S. export regulations would occur. The fine is the largest civil penalty ever levied by BIS.

In a related action, the Department of Justice also announced today it has imposed a $48 million monetary penalty on Weatherford International Ltd. pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement. Justice is also imposing $2 million in criminal fines pursuant to guilty pleas by two of Weatherford’s subsidiaries, for a combined total penalty of $100 million from the U.S. government.