UK-listed engineering company Petrofac has been shut out of competition for new contracts in Iraq while the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) continues to investigate allegations of bribery by the company in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, but it is continuing to work on current jobs.

Ihsan Ismaael, director general of state-owned Basra Oil Company, said Petrofac's existing deals are unaffected by the temporary decision, adding that Iraq had taken “preventative action to freeze the relationship for new bids with Petrofac”.