Halliburton conducting internal investigation of Angola business

Halliburton Co., the world’s second- largest oilfield-services provider, said it’s conducting an internal investigation of its Angolan operations after receiving an anonymous e-mail alleging violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The e-mail, received in December 2010, cited conflicts of interest, self-dealing and the failure to act on possible violations of the company’s business code and the FCPA, according to the disclosure that the Houston-based company made in a federal filing Oct. 21.

The violations were alleged to be “principally” through the use of an Angolan vendor, according to the filing. Halliburton said it met with the Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the third quarter to brief them on the investigation’s status and provide documents.

“We intend to continue to cooperate with their inquiries and requests as they investigate this matter,” Halliburton said in the filing.

The disclosure is not expected to “really impact valuation” or result in a “meaningful” fine or settlement, Roger Read, an analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co. in Houston, who rates the shares at “outperform” and owns none, said today in a telephone interview.

“In the near term, issues on settling Macondo are a much bigger deal here than what this is,” Read said.

BP Plc, operator of the offshore Macondo well that was the site of an explosion in April 2010 and led to the worst Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has called on rig owner Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton to contribute “appropriately.” The two service providers have yet to reach a settlement with the London-based producer.

Schlumberger Ltd. is the world’s largest oilfield-services provider.