updated 6/18/2004 11:03:15 AM ET 2004-06-18T15:03:15

Halliburton Co. has fired a two consultants — one of whom was also the retired chairman — of a subsidiary under investigation for alleged involvement in paying $180 million in bribes to get a natural gas project contract in Nigeria.

The Houston-based oil services conglomerate announced Friday it is "terminating all relationships" with consultant A. Jack Stanley, who retired in December 2003 as chairman of subsidiary KBR, formerly known as Kellogg, Brown & Root. The company also said another consultant and former employee of M.W. Kellogg, Ltd., a joint venture in which KBR has a 55 percent interest, has been fired. The individual was not identified.

Halliburton terminated the pair because of violations of codes of business conduct "that, to Halliburton's knowledge, involve the receipt by these persons of improper personal benefits," the company said without elaboration.

Stanley's attorney, Lee Kaplan in Houston, declined comment Friday.

Evidence of the violations emerged from the company's internal probe into the bribery allegations.

"It is important to the company that clients, suppliers and host countries know that Halliburton's code of business conduct is expected to be followed in every country in which the company operates," said Dave Lesar, Halliburton's chairman, president and chief executive.

The allegations center on a contract for a $4 billion Nigerian liquefied natural gas plant awarded in 1995 to four partners: M.W. Kellogg Co., a subsidiary of Dresser Industries; Technip SA of France; ENI SpA of Italy; and Japan Gasoline Corp. Halliburton refers to the consortium as TSKJ.

Stanley served in several management positions since joining M.W. Kellogg in 1975, Halliburton said.

Halliburton acquired Dresser in 1998 and combined its Brown & Root subsidiary with M.W. Kellogg Co. to form KBR.

The alleged bribes were made to Nigerian officials from 1995 — three years before Halliburton acquired Dresser — through 2002. Other contracts on the Nigerian plant to the consortium followed in 1999 and 2002.

Vice President Dick Cheney was head of Halliburton from 1995 through 2000, when he resigned to be President Bush's running mate.

Halliburton said the company is continuing its internal probe of the alleged bribes in addition to cooperating with investigations under way by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. A French magistrate and Nigerian officials also are investigating the matter.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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