Can’t help wondering whether Malcolm Brinded will be “helping the police with their enquiries” regarding OPL245 as he was in charge of E&P at Shell at the time. Assuming that Shell/ENI lose the block, I presume there will be a $550 million hole in the Shell accounts to explain…
By John Donovan
Claudio Descalzi, the CEO of oil company Eni and one of his director colleagues are under investigation, suspected of involvement in the corruption of Nigerian politicians.
Extract from a Bloomberg news report “Eni says CEO probed over $1.1billion Nigeria deal….”
Eni teamed with Royal Dutch Shell Plc in 2011 to buy Oil Prospecting License 245 for $1.1billion. The deal was challenged last year by a Nigerian parliamentary committee, which recommended revoking the rights. The acquisition process was “highly flawed,” the committee said. Global Witness, a London-based corruption watchdog, has also criticized the deal and the involvement of Dan Etete, a former Nigerian oil minister.
A related Wall Street Journal article reports:
“In a statement, Eni said Milan prosecutors have placed Claudio Descalzi, its CEO since May and longtime company veteran, under investigation as part of a preliminary probe related to the acquisition of the large Nigerian offshore oil block OPL 245 in 2011.”
Extract from a related FT report
The announcement by Eni, which denies any “illegal conduct” in the matter, is a significant development in a long-running political and legal drama surrounding one of Nigeria’s most prized oil blocks with reserves estimated at 9bn barrels.
Extract from a related article by Sahara Reporters
Dotun Oloko, an anti-corruption activist who has spoken out about the shady dealings, said “The freezing of $190m in proceeds from the OPL 245 oil deal is good news for the people of Nigeria, many of whom live in poverty despite the country’s oil wealth. $1.1bn was diverted from the public purse, this needs to be recovered as well as get to the bottom of the role companies and individuals played in this heist.”
(Shell must pay a $30million criminal penalty over charges it paid $2million to a sub-contractor with the knowledge that some or all of the money would be used to bribe Nigerian officials to allow equipment into the country without paying duty. Shell, which has not admitted guilt, must pay a further $18million to repay profits and interests.)
RECEIVED FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR
Can’t help wondering whether Malcolm Brinded will be “helping the police with their enquiries” regarding OPL245 as he was in charge of E&P at Shell at the time.
Assuming that Shell/ENI lose the block, I presume there will be a $550 million hole in the Shell accounts to explain…small beer compared with Shell Oil’s “unconventionals” debacle, but how much longer will the shareholders accept these losses? Or perhaps they expect the recipients of their 2011 largesse to simply give it all back?
Ronnie Biggs could only have dreamt of such a heist!