By March 2, 2017 Read More →

New charges against Shell, Eni, others over 2011 Nigerian oilfield purchase

Eni

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi has denied any wrongdoing in the charges. PressTV.ir photo.

Eni, Shell facing conspiracy, corruption charges

Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and others are facing new corruption charges in the $1.3 billion purchase of an oilfield in 2011.

Jonson Ojogbane, a senior prosecutor with Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says the financial crime watchdog agency found new evidence during an investigation into the purchase of OPL 245 block.

The companies are now facing new corruption charges in connection with the sale of the oilfield which is estimated to hold up to 9.23 billion barrels of oil.

Reuters reports court filings allege those involved conspired to commit a felony and violated corruption laws by paying Nigerian officials $801 million for OPL 245.

Eni says it has not received notification concerning the charges, but it “reaffirms the correctness of its conduct”.

Shell did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

In January, a Nigerian court ordered the seizure of the oilfield assets and transfer operations to the federal government at the request of the EFCC.

Reuters reports court papers it has seen show the inquiry investigating whether the $1.3 billion purchase of OPL 245 involved “acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering.”

The oilfield licence was initially granted in 1998 by Dan Etete, former Nigerian oil minister, to Malabu Oil and Gas.  Reuters reports Etete held shares in the company.

In 2011, the licence was sold for $1.3 billion to Eni and Shell.  British court documents show Malabu received $1.09 billion from the sale, while the remainder went to the Nigerian government.

The targets of the new charges include Shell’s local subsidiary, Eni and its local subsidiary, directors of those companies, Dan Etete and a former justice minister.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi has denied any wrongdoings.

 

 

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