The logo commodities trader Glencore is pictured in Baar
The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, July 18, 2017. Reuters

A British subsidiary of mining and trading group Glencore was ordered to pay a total penalty of 276.4 million pounds ($310.6 million) in a London court on Thursday for seven bribery offences in relation to its oil operations in Africa.

Glencore Energy UK Limited was ordered to pay a 182.9 million pound fine by Judge Peter Fraser at Southwark Crown Court, who also approved a 93.5 million pound confiscation order.

The judge said that the offences to which Glencore had pleaded guilty represented "corporate corruption on a widespread scale, deploying very substantial sums of money in bribes".

He added: "The corruption is of extended duration, and took place across five separate countries in West Africa, but had its origins in the West Africa oil trading desk of the defendant in London. It was endemic amongst traders on that particular desk."

On Wednesday, Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) told the court that Glencore Energy UK Limited paid - or failed to prevent the payment of - millions of dollars in bribes to officials in the five African countries.

Employees and agents of the firm used private jets to transfer cash to pay the bribes, prosecutors said.

The UK subsidiary pleaded guilty in June to the seven bribery offences.

Glencore, a Swiss-based multinational, said in May it expected to pay up to $1.5 billion in relation to allegations of bribery and market manipulation in the United States, Brazil and Britain.

Clare Montgomery, representing Glencore, said: "The company unreservedly regrets the harm caused by these offences and recognises the harm caused, both at national and public levels in the African states concerned, as well as the damage caused to others."

Judge Fraser said in his sentencing remarks: "Glencore has engaged in corporate reform and today appears to be a very different corporation than it was at the time of these offences."