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MALABU SCANDAL: Shell, Eni officials’ trial continues as anti-corruption group head appears before court

The trial of officials of oil giants Eni and Shell over the controversial Malabu scandal will resume Wednesday at the Milan Palace of Justice in Italy, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The Milan court’s decision came after Simon Taylor, a founding director of anti-corruption group, Global Witness, appeared before it as witness on Wednesday.

Mr Taylor’s Global Witness, together with PREMIUM TIMES and its London partner, Finance Uncovered, have for years done extensive investigations into the long-running controversial oil deal. read more

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Shell, Eni venture to pay $1.1B to settle Kazakhstan dispute

By: , SA News Editor

An energy consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Eni (NYSE:E) developing the Karachaganak gas condensate field will pay $1.1B to Kazakhstan’s government to settle a profit-sharing dispute, the country’s energy ministry says.

Kazakhstan says its production sharing agreement with the consortium also will amend terms so that it will receive a higher share of future revenues from one of the country’s biggest hydrocarbon fields. read more

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Shell Tries to Come Clean on Its Dirty Past in Nigeria

Italian prosecutors allege that a year after its agreement with the U.S., Shell and Eni SpA, its partner in Nigeria, paid more than $1 billion to win offshore licenses, which mostly went to bribes.

As the company moves away from oil, it can’t shake its years operating in the pollution- and graft-ridden nation.

A leaking, out-of-service Shell oil well head catches fire in Nigeria in 2006. PHOTOGRAPHER: ED KASHI/VII

By Kelly Gilblom

Perched in a helicopter sweeping over the mangrove forests of the Niger Delta, a photographer named Casey is looking for trouble. And she finds it, down among a cluster of tree trunks stained with crude. A faint disturbance in a jungle clearing turns out to be a group of men pawing at a pipeline, a tiny slice of a 1,200-mile web that feeds Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s bustling export hub on Bonny Island. Some of the men flee as the chopper closes in, but most redouble their efforts as Casey aims her camera. “I’ve seen things get better,” she said before takeoff. “Then they go back to getting worse.” read more

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In Nigeria, Shell’s onshore roots still run deep

An overview of the Niger delta where signs of oil spills can be seen in the water in Port Harcourt, Nigeria August 1, 2018. Picture taken August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Ron Bousso

Ron Bousso: SEPT 23, 2018

BODO, Nigeria (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell wants to reweight its footprint in Nigeria to focus on oil and gas fields far offshore, away from the theft, spills, corruption and unrest that have plagued the West African country’s onshore industry for decades.

But for the company that pioneered Nigeria’s oil industry in the 1950s, the Niger Delta remains as important — and problematic — as ever.

While Shell has cut onshore oil production and sold some onshore assets, it continues to invest in others. In fact, onshore production has risen in recent years as a share of Shell’s output in Nigeria, an analysis of company data over the past decade shows. read more

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Shell to make final investment call on Nigeria oilfield in 2019: official

Reuters Staff: JULY 31, 2018

ABUJA (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell and its partners will decide next year on whether to go ahead with the development of Nigeria’s Bonga Southwest offshore oilfield, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

The project, one of the country’s largest with an expected production of 180,000 barrels per day, will generate profit at below $50 a barrel, Bayo Ojuli, managing director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, told reporters. read more

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Shell, Eni Could Face Massive Damages in Nigerian Corruption Case

CAIN BURDEAU: July 19, 2018

CASTELBUONO, Sicily (CN) – Nigeria could learn Friday at a court in Milan whether it can pursue damages against oil giants Shell and Eni in a sprawling international corruption case.

The trial centers on a $1.3 billion bribery deal Royal Dutch Shell Plc. and Italy-based Eni S.p.A. executives allegedly entered into in 2011 with Nigerian officials, including then-President Goodluck Jonathan, to purchase a much-coveted oil field off the coast of Nigeria.

In December 2017, Italian judges in Milan ordered the companies and a number of individuals, including top executives at Shell and Eni, to stand trial. The trial has been slow to unfold and remains in preliminary hearings. read more

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Italy’s top court rejects appeal to stymie Shell, Eni corruption trial

REUTERS STAFF: JUNE 13, 2018 / 4:03 PM

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Supreme Court threw out an appeal from Shell and four former Shell managers to stymie a corruption trial that has also involved Eni’s chief executive, legal sources said on Wednesday.

The long-running graft case on alleged corruption in Nigeria, revolves around the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield for about $1.3 billion. The trial began last month, with the next hearing set for June 20. read more

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Italy’s top court tosses appeal in Shell, Eni corruption trial

|By: , SA News Editor

Italy’s Supreme Court rejects an appeal from Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.ARDS.B) and four former Shell managers to reverse a trial on alleged corruption in Nigeria, which also has implicated Eni (NYSE:E) CEO Claudio Descalzi.

The appeal hoped to reverse the trial to the preliminary hearing stage due to what it said were procedural errors, but the court ruled that the appeal was inadmissible.

Nine current and former company executives or contractors, including Descalzi, are accused by Italian prosecutors of paying bribes to secure the license to explore Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield, which holds ~9B barrels of oil but has never entered production. read more

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Pope to address oil majors in Vatican climate conference

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis arrives to lead the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo Philip Pullela: June 1, 2018 VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican will host executives of the world’s top oil companies for a conference next week on climate change and the transition away from fossil fuels, a Vatican source said on Friday.

Pope Francis, who wrote a major document on protection of the environment from global warming in 2015, is expected to address the group on the last day of the June 8-9 conference.

The conference, organized by Notre Dame University in the United States, is expected to be attended by the heads or senior executives of companies including ExxonMobil, Eni, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Pemex, the source said.

The oil and gas industry has come under increasing pressure from investors and activists to play a bigger role in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gasses in order to meet goals set out in a 2015 climate agreement signed in Paris. read more

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The Mystery of a Geneva Briefcase, Nigeria Middleman and Big Oil

By Hugo Miller , Kelly Gilblom , and Sergio Di Pasquale: 24 May 2018, 08:40 BST Updated on 24 May 2018, 10:23 BST

A briefcase seized from a Geneva apartment two years ago could be the key to an Italian bribery case against Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA — if it makes it to Milan in time.

The bag held SIM cards, Nigerian passports, a laptop and a hard drive containing more than 40,000 documents, and belonged to Emeka Obi, according to a spokesman for the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office. Swiss prosecutors found it during a raid for an unrelated investigation and are trying to get it to their Italian colleagues, who are prosecuting Obi as an alleged middle man in a $1.1 billion kickback scheme involving the energy companies vying for a Nigerian oil license.

Obi’s lawyers persuaded a Geneva judge to put the contents of his briefcase under seal, citing his rights to privacy. Now a decision by Geneva’s Measures of Constraint Court on whether to lift that seal is expected as soon as this month.

While officials in Milan have moved forward with charges against the oil companies without the briefcase, the evidence could strengthen the graft case. The trial, which centers around events in 2011, begins on June 20. Milanese Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale said he has “sent more reminders” to the Swiss saying he wants the briefcase, underscoring its importance. read more

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Shell, Eni trial on Nigeria corruption re-adjourned to June

Reuters Staff: MAY 14, 2018

MILAN (Reuters) – The trial of top executives from oil majors Eni (ENI.MI) and Shell (RDSa.L) over alleged corruption in Nigeria kicked off on Monday with a brief procedural hearing and a decision to re-adjourn next month.

At the next hearing, set for June 20, the Milan court said it would assess requests from third parties, including a series of international non-profit organizations, to join the case.

At Monday’s hearing Domenico Cartoni Schittar, a lawyer representing the Nigerian government, said he was stepping down from his role.  read more

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Shell boss Ben Van Beurden facing a shareholder revolt over his £7.8m pay packet

The boss of oil giant Shell is facing the threat of a revolt over his £7.8million pay packet.

Institutional Shareholders Services, a leading investor advisory group, is recommending that Ben van Beurden’s pay is voted down at the annual general meeting later this month.

ISS said it also wants more information about how the 60-year-old’s bonus was affected by an incident in Pakistan in 2016, when a fuel tanker operated by a Shell Pakistan contractor exploded, killing more than 200 people. read more

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Shell, Eni oil executives on trial for graft in Nigeria

A corruption trial against oil giants Shell and Eni and Nigeria’s ex-oil minister Dan Etete is getting started in Milan. The case deals with alleged bribes valuing millions, and the Italian trial is not the only one.

Starting Monday, the Italian city of Milan will be the scene of a month-long trial that deals with corruption allegations in the oil industry.

The Milan public prosecutor’s office accuses the Italian oil firm Eni and the British-Dutch oil company Shell of having paid millions of dollars in bribes in order to acquire a lucrative oil exploration and drilling license in Nigeria.

Now 15 defendants are facing trial. Most of them employees of the two companies but Nigeria’s ex-Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, will also be tried. read more

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Shell and Eni in court over alleged corruption in $1.1bn Nigerian oil deal

Royal Dutch Shell, Italian oil giant Eni and a number of senior executives at the two firms face trial in Milan on Monday over corruption charges relating to a $1.1bn (£800m) deal for a Nigerian oil block.

The Milan public prosecutor alleges that $520m from a 2011 deal to buy rights to a vast oil block off Nigeria’s coast was converted into cash and intended to be paid to the then Nigerian resident Goodluck Jonathan, members of the government and other Nigerian government officials.  read more

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Trial set for two of the world’s largest oil companies

Trial set for two of the world’s largest oil companies

13 May 2018: Two of the world’s largest oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni of Italy, are expected to go on trial on Monday in Milan. Prosecutors are bringing corruption charges over a $1.3 billion oil deal in Nigeria. The defendants include current and former oil executives, among them Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s chief executive, who has the backing of his board despite his legal troubles. The case revolves around a payment the companies made in 2011 to the Nigerian government to settle a dispute over an offshore oil tract in the Atlantic Ocean known as OPL 245. The companies have consistently denied wrongdoing, but the case may shine a light on the sometimes murky dealings of the international oil industry. The proceedings, which are expected to last for months, may be delayed after initial procedures. Stanley Reed read more

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Malabu Oil: Trial of Shell, Eni CEO, Other Top Executives, Begin Monday

By Bayo Akinloye: 12 MAY 2018

The Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, along with a number of their senior executives, will on Monday face criminal charges in Milan, Italy, for alleged aggravated international corruption for their role in a $1.1bn deal for a Malabu Oil’s OPL 245.

This was made known in a statement yesterday by the international corruption watchdog, the Global Witness.

It noted that no company as large as Royal Dutch Shell or senior executives of a major oil company had ever stood trial for bribery offences.  read more

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Nigeria draft oil reforms seek to establish powerful industry regulator

FILE PHOTO: The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headquarters are seen in Abuja, Nigeria December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

For decades, communities in the Niger Delta oil heartland have complained that spills and pollution have destroyed their land and killed off wildlife. Rights group Amnesty International accused international oil majors Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Eni SpA in March of negligence when addressing spills in Nigeria.

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s government plans to create a powerful energy regulator with broad oversight of the oil and gas sector, according to draft versions of sweeping reforms known collectively as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The draft laws, posted on the Nigerian legislature’s website on April 30, are the versions intended for the Senate, the upper house of parliament.

The PIB aims to improve transparency, attract investors, stimulate growth and increase government revenues.

After being debated for well over a decade, the unwieldly and contentious legislation was broken into sections to help it pass into law. read more

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Malabu Scandal: Court to hear case to force seizure of oil block

“This corrupt deal is spawning legal action all over the world. Global Witness wholeheartedly supports the move to revoke the rights to this oil block. Shell and Eni should not be allowed to profit from their appalling behaviour…”

May 7, 2018

On Tuesday, the Federal High Court of Nigeria will hear a case to compel the Nigerian government to take back one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks, which has been at the centre of a $1.1 billion multinational corruption scandal.

The case is brought by Nigerian civil society organization, Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), who are demanding that the government “revoke the Operating Production Licence (OPL) 245 on grounds that the entire Malabu transaction in relation to the OPL 245 is unconstitutional, illegal and void as it was not legally granted, same having been obtained fraudulently vide corrupt practices.” read more

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Shell says fully committed to Iraq gas venture, plans ‘massive’ expansion

DUBAI (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is fully committed to its gas joint venture in Iraq, after the energy major exited its oil assets in the OPEC country, and plans to boost its gas output there to 1.4 billion cubic feet (bcf) a day by 2020, a senior executive said.

Iraq’s gas development plans have long focused on Basra Gas Co (BGC), a $17 billion, 25-year project in which Iraq has 51 percent, Shell 44 percent and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) 5 percent.

The project was designed to aggregate gas from fields in the south including West Qurna 1, operated by Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N); Zubair, operated by Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI); and Rumaila, developed by BP (BP.L). read more

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Malabu Scandal: UK Opposition Leader Wants Govt Probed over Payments to Etete

The transactions were made by the U.S. bank when Royal Dutch Shell and Eni bought offshore oilfield OPL 245 from Malabu Oil and Gas in 2011. The $1.3 billion deal has spawned legal cases spanning several countries and involving Nigerian government officials and senior ENI and Shell executives, a number of whom would be facing trial in Italy on corruption charges next month.

Ejiofor Alike with agency reports

A Liberal Democrat and former British Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has called on the UK Home Office and National Crime Agency to explain themselves over the revelation that the country’s anti-money laundering agency allowed JP Morgan to transfer $875 million to a former Nigerian oil minister, Mr. Dan Etete. The transfers were made in relation to the Malabu oil deal, involving the controversial Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245.

JP Morgan’s London branch had claimed it repeatedly sought consent from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) to pay the fund into accounts linked to Etete. The bank said instead of being told to block the transfers, it was authorised by Soca to make the payment. read more

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JP Morgan says it knew ex-minister linked to firm in Nigeria oilfield deal

Shell said in April last year that it “always knew” the Nigerian government would compensate Malabu and that Etete was involved. It had previously told Reuters only that payments went to the Nigerian government.

Julia Payne, Libby George: 7 April 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – JP Morgan Chase has acknowledged it knew a former Nigerian oil minister convicted of money laundering would benefit when it transferred over $800 million of government funds to a company he controlled, according to a court document seen by Reuters.

JP Morgan made the acknowledgement in its legal response to a lawsuit filed by Nigeria over transactions made by the U.S. bank when Royal Dutch Shell and Eni bought offshore oilfield OPL 245 from Malabu Oil and Gas in 2011. read more

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Shell Suspects Ex-Executive Committed Crime in Nigeria Deal

A bank account linked to Robinson was frozen by the Attorney-General in Switzerland after requests for legal assistance from the Dutch and Italian authorities, people familiar with the matter said last week. Several hundred million Swiss francs were in the account…

  • Oil giant filed a criminal complaint to Dutch authorities
  • Peter Robinson already facing corruption charges in Italy

Royal Dutch Shell Plc referred a former vice president for sub-Saharan Africa Peter Robinson to the Dutch authorities, suspecting he may have committed crimes related to an asset sale in Nigeria.

The allegations of criminal misconduct by one of its employees come at a difficult time for Shell. Europe’s largest energy company and several former executives, including Robinson, are already facing a criminal trial in Milan over an alleged bribery scheme related to the separate purchase of a Nigerian oil block called OPL 245.  read more

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Selection of Shell related news stories 16 March 2018

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Nigeria State Oil Company Hasn’t Explained Missing Billions

An agency tasked with cleaning up Nigeria’s murky oil industry says even though financial accountability has improved the state oil company still hasn’t explained billions of dollars of missing revenue.

While energy producers have cooperated and complied with requirements to publish payments, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has struggled with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Waziri Adio, executive secretary of the agency known as Neiti, said in a March 7 interview in Abuja, the capital. The state oil company hasn’t explained what it did with at least $22.7 billion earned from the sale of oil licenses and in dividends from its stake in Nigeria LNG Ltd. over a 15-year period, he said. read more

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Selection of recent news coverage of Shell/Eni OPL 245 corruption scandal

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Trial of Shell, Eni over Nigeria to switch to new Milan court: sources

The Italian inquiry is one of several into the acquisition of OPL-245, including cases in the Netherlands and Nigeria.

Reuters: 2 March 2018

MILAN (Reuters) – A trial in Italy of Royal Dutch Shell and Eni executives over alleged corruption in Nigeria, which had been due to start on March 5, will be transferred to another court in Milan, delaying the proceedings, legal sources said.

Earlier this week, the Milan tribunal informed lawyers that the court which had been due to hear the trial had too many cases and could not guarantee that it would do so in a reasonable period of time, three sources told Reuters on Friday. read more

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Eni’s strong performance has been clouded by allegations of bribery

Extract relating to OPL 245 Shell/ENI Malabu Oil Deal scandal taken from FT article: “Eni reports record oil and gas production”

Eni’s strong performance has been clouded by allegations of bribery related to a $1.3bn deal in 2011 to acquire one of Nigeria’s largest untapped oilfields. Mr Descalzi and several other current and former executives are due to stand trial for alleged corruption in Milan in March. Mr Descalzi has denied wrongdoing and Eni’s board has maintained its “full confidence” in him. read more

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Nigerian court sets Malabu oilfield corruption case hearing for June 18

ABUJA, Feb 15 (Reuters) – A Nigerian court has set a hearing over a disputed 2011 oilfield deal for June 18, the country’s financial crimes watchdog said on Thursday, part of a string of international corruption probes into the purchase.

The case relates to a purchase of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in 2011.

At the core of the case is a $1.3 billion payment from Shell and Eni to secure the block from Malabu Oil and Gas, allegedly controlled by former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete. read more

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Inside the Bribery Scandal Sweeping Through the Oil Industry

Shell and Eni paid $1.3 billion for oil rights in Nigeria. Whether the money was mostly a bribe is at the heart of one of the industry’s most dramatic criminal cases

EXTRACTS

By Sarah Kent in Abuja, Nigeria, and Eric Sylvers in Milan: Feb. 13, 2018 12:40 p.m. ET

A top oil executive walked into the marble lobby of an exclusive Milan hotel on a chilly winter night. His dinner date was a former Nigerian oil minister offering to sell one of Africa’s biggest untapped oil discoveries.

Eight years later, the question of whether the $1.3 billion paid for the license to that prized oil field was mostly a bribe is at the heart of one of the biggest bribery scandals the oil industry has ever seen.

Shell executives, including Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s global exploration and production chief at the time of the deal, will also be tried on those charges, as well as both companies. Eni and Shell both deny wrongdoing, saying they simply paid the government and didn’t know the money would be used for … read more

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Shell made mistake by pulling out of Guyana basin

BY BERT WILKINSON: 31 JAN 2018

Now that Guyana’s oil and gas basin has been deemed as one of the hottest and most exciting prospects in the world, Shell Oil has to be regretting its decision to withdraw as an investment partner with United States giant ExxonMobil, which has so far drilled six successful wells offshore Guyana worth about 3.2 billion barrels of oil, officials said Monday, Jan. 29.

Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said Exxon’s mid 2015 “world class” oil and gas find has clearly taken away all the fears and apprehensions about wasting investor dollars exploring offshore Guyana and Shell is one company which has missed out on the chance to cash in on one of the world’s largest oil finds in more than a decade. Exxon plans to begin producing about 120,000 barrels of oil daily in early 2020. This will make Guyana the largest producer in the Caribbean Community. The others are Trinidad, Suriname and Barbados. read more

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With corruption investigations widening, oil companies with ties to Houston face reckoning

Big names in Houston’s energy world, like KBR, Shell and SBM Offshore, were suddenly having to explain how they came to win drilling rights and contracts worth billions of dollars in countries like Nigeria, Angola and Brazil. That money was then to be passed to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company controlled by the former Nigerian oil minister and convicted money launderer Dan Etete. For years, Shell said it was unaware of what happened to the money, but emails obtained by Global Witness indicated that the company knew the money was going to Malabu. read more

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Shell, ENI take final investment decision on ‘juicy’ OPL 245

By TheCable: 24 JAN 2018

Despite the litany of court cases surrounding the award of the juicy deepwater OPL 245, the two principal stakeholders in the acreage, Anglo/Dutch firm Shell and Italian oil giant Eni, are proceeding with the development of the main oil field already discovered.

TheCable Petrobarometer understands that Shell and Eni have taken the final investment decision (FID) to develop the field known as Zabazaba field, which lies in water depth ranging from 1,700 and 2,000 meters and holds an estimated oil reserves of up to a billion barrels. read more

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Nigeria Moves Closer to Energy Overhaul With New Oil Bill

Nigeria’s House of Representatives passed a bill governing the country’s energy sector after the Senate did so in May, taking Africa’s top oil producer one step closer to a much-awaited overhaul of the key industry.

The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill now awaits President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing to become law.

The bill will “promote openness and transparency in the industry by clarifying the rules, processes, and procedures that govern the oil and gas sector,” Senate President Bukola Saraki said in a statement Thursday. “After nearly two decades of back-and-forth, near-misses and ‘near-passages’, the 8th National Assembly finally reached a milestone.” read more

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Nigeria sues JP Morgan for $875 million over Malabu oilfield deal

Late last year, a Milan judge ruled that Shell and Eni must stand trial in Italy…

Libby George, Julia Payne: 18 JAN 2018 LONDON (Reuters) – Nigeria has filed a claim against JP Morgan Chase for more than $875 million, accusing it of negligence in transferring funds from a disputed 2011 oilfield deal to a company controlled by the country’s former oil minister.

A spokeswoman for JP Morgan dismissed the accusation on Thursday, saying the firm “considers the allegations made in the claim to be unsubstantiated and without merit”.

The suit filed in British courts relates to a purchase of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in 2011.

At the core of the case is a $1.3 billion payment from Shell and Eni to secure the block that the lawsuit says was deposited into a Nigerian government escrow account managed by JP Morgan. read more

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Dutch Court Upholds $5.2 Billion Asset Freeze On Kazakhstan Oil Field

Frozen Assets Securing a $520 Million Award Against Republic of Kazakhstan 

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — On January 5, 2018, Amsterdam District Court issued a judgment (the “Judgment”) in which it upheld an earlier ex parte attachment granted by the same court on September 8, 2017 to Anatolie Stati, Gabriel Stati, Ascom Group S.A. and Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd (together, the “Stati Parties”) with respect to the Republic of Kazakhstan’sshareholding in the Dutch entity KMG Kashagan B.V. (“Kashagan”) which shareholding is held via the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna (“Samruk”).  Through its stake in Kashagan, which has a nominal value of approximately US$5.2 billion, the Kazakh State participates in the international consortium relating to the Kashagan oilfield, one of the largest offshore oilfields in the Caspian Sea. Other members of the consortium include Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation and Inpex. read more

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Quest for new oil discoveries still on back burner

Ron Bousso: January 4, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – Despite the strongest start for oil prices in four years, the world’s top oil companies are hesitating to accelerate the search for new resources as a determination to retain capital discipline trumps the hope of making bonanza discoveries.

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and their peers are set to cut spending on oil and gas exploration for a fifth year in a row in 2018, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac), despite a growing urgency to replenish reserves after years of reining back investment. read more

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Leaked documents reveal how Shell blackmailed Nigeria in Malabu deal

29 December 2017

Confidential internal documents of Royal Dutch Shell suggest that the oil giant capitalised on the 2011 presidential election to arm-twist the federal government into a “cheap” deal over the sale of the disputed OPL 245.

The international oil company also used an arbitration case it filed with the International Centre for the Settlement of International Disputes (ICSID), an organ of the World Bank, to railroad the government into brokering truce between it and Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, its estranged erstwhile partner and the original licensee. read more

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New Arctic Well Spudded

Credit: BSEE: By =&0=&2017-12-27 18:15:55 Oil exploration in U.S. Arctic waters got underway this week with the spudding of a new oil well from the man-made Spy Island in the Beaufort Sea. Eni began drilling the new well off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015.The well is expected to be over six miles (10 kilometers) long, and the project could result in oil production levels of 20,000 barrels a day. Eni is working with Royal Dutch Shell and plans to drill two exploration wells plus two potential sidetrack wells over the next two years.

In 2015, Shell abandoned its exploration activities in offshore Alaska, citing high costs and stringent regulations. However, in April this year, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order allowing offshore drilling in  the Arctic. This week, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a statement highlighting the importance of U.S. energy dominance and the Administration’s national energy strategy. It also noted that two BSEE personnel were on-hand at the spudding operation on Monday to ensure compliance with approved permits, federal regulations and safety standards. read more

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Italian oil and gas firm Eni buys out Shell’s stake in Evans Shoal gas field

GARY SHIPWAY, NT News: December 28, 2017 3:47am

THE Italian oil and gas firm that operates the Blacktip gas project, which supplies gas for Territory domestic power generation, has taken another significant step forward in its growth plans off Northern Australia.

ENI has bought out Shell’s stake in the large undeveloped Evans Shoal gas field 300km northwest of Darwin in the Timor Sea’s Bonaparte Basin.

The Blacktip gas field is 110km off our coast and pumps gas to ENI’s Yelcherr Gas Plant near Wadeye.

Evans Shoal is among five offshore gas ventures contributing to a $625,000 study being carried out into the feasibility of expanding the Darwin LNG plant. The study started in April and is due for completion this month. read more

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Eni Acquires Shell Stake in Australian Gas Field

By Marc Bisbal Arias Dow Jones Newswires

Eni SpA (ENI.MI) said Thursday that it has acquired the 32.5% stake in an Australian gas field owned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN)’s subsidiary Shell Australia Proprietary Ltd.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Evans Shoal field is located around 300 kilometers northwest of Darwin, where the Darwin liquefied natural gas plant is operating. The field is estimated to have at least 8 trillion cubic feet of raw gas in place, Eni said. The acquisition doubles Eni’s stake in the field to 65%.

The Italian company also said that it has become the operator of the retention lease NT/RL7 located in the north Bonaparte Basin, offshore Northern Australia. read more

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Eni and Shell on trial in Italy over Nigeria ‘corruption’

20 December 2017

Two global oil giants, Eni and Shell, are to stand trial in Italy over allegations of corruption in Nigeria.

The case involves the purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria for $1.3bn (£1bn) in 2011.

The companies deny wrongdoing, saying they acquired the rights in accordance with Nigerian law.

The trial in Italy is expected to start in March next year. It follows a lengthy investigation by Italian prosecutors.

Anti-corruption watchdog Global Witness says it could be one of the biggest corporate corruption trials in history. read more

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Italian Judge Orders Biggest Corporate Trial In History Against Shell, Eni, CEO And Executives Over Bribery Of Nigerian Government Officials

…face trial alongside four Royal Dutch Shell staff members including Malcolm Brinded CBE, former Executive Director for Upstream International and two former MI6 agents employed by Shell….The prosecutor further alleges that money was also channelled to Eni and Shell executives…

BY GLOBAL WITNESS: DEC 20, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell and Italian oil giant Eni have been ordered to stand trial in Milan on charges of aggravated international corruption for their role in a 2011 $1.1bn deal for Nigerian oil block OPL 245. Mrs Justice Barbara handed down the ruling today. The judge set March 5 as the date for the trial to begin.

Eni’s current CEO Claudio Descalzi, former CEO Paolo Scaroni, Chief Operations and Technology Officer Roberto Casula were also ordered to face trial alongside four Royal Dutch Shell staff members including Malcolm Brinded CBE, former Executive Director for Upstream International and two former MI6 agents employed by Shell. read more

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Shell and Eni to Be Tried Over $1.3 Billion Nigerian Oil Deal

LONDON — An Italian judge ruled on Wednesday that two of the world’s largest oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, the Italian company, must go on trial on charges of corruption over a $1.3 billion oil deal in Nigeria.

The judge set a March 5 trial date in Milan for the companies as well as a group of current and former executives, including Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s chief executive, and Malcolm Brinded, a former chief of exploration and production for Shell. No current Shell officials were to be tried in the case. read more

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Shell, Eni Face Italian Charges Over Nigerian Deal

Mr. Brinded said: “I have done nothing wrong and believe that will become clear in any legal proceedings. I stand by my view that there is absolutely no basis for the charges against me.”

By Eric Sylvers in Milan and Sarah Kent in London FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

An Italian judge Wednesday indicted Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the chief executive of the Italian oil-and-gas company Eni SpA and other industry executives on corruption charges connected to a 2011 deal to acquire drilling rights off the coast of Nigeria.

Prosecutors say in court documents that Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi and the other executives at both Shell and Eni knew that most of the $1.3 billion Eni and Shell paid to the Nigerian government to acquire the drilling rights would be distributed as bribes. Prosecutors will argue that Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president at the time of the deal, received part of the kickbacks, according to court documents. read more

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Eni and Shell to stand trial in Italy over Nigeria kickback scandal

Oil giants Eni and Shell will stand trial in Italy over allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2011 purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

…email exchanges between Shell management cited in a report by corruption watchdog Global Witness, and seen by AFP, suggest that Shell was aware the money was likely to be funnelled to individuals, including Etete and Jonathan.

Italian giant Eni and fellow petroleum company Shell will stand trial in Italy over allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2011 purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

A judge in Milan ordered Eni, Shell and key figures such as Eni chief Claudio Descalzi and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni to stand trial in proceedings to begin March 5. read more

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Eni, Shell to Face Trial in Italy in $1 Billion Bribery Case

The Anglo-Dutch company, whose former upstream director Malcolm Brinded is among those facing trial, acknowledged in April that it was aware of the destination of part of the payments…

Eni SpA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc and senior executives will face trial over a $1.1 billion bribery scandal in Nigeria, an Italian judge ruled on Wednesday.

The trial will start on March 5 in Milan, judge Giusy Barbara told reporters. The long-awaited decision, initially expected several months ago, will not only affect the two companies but 11 individuals including Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi.

The case is related to the acquisition of a deepwater oil-prospecting license by Eni and Shell in the Gulf of Guinea in 2011. Prosecutors allege that the two companies’ payment of almost $1.1 billion into a Nigerian government escrow account was later distributed as payoffs. While energy producers have come under scrutiny for bribery and corruption in the past, a trial centered around the sitting CEO of an oil major is rare. read more

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Italy judge orders Shell, Eni to stand trial on alleged corruption in Nigeria

MILAN, Dec 20 (Reuters) – An Italian judge has ordered oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to stand trial over alleged corruption in Nigeria with the CEO of Eni among past and present managers involved, legal sources said on Wednesday.

The judge set March 5 as the date for the trial to begin, the sources said.

All the parties involved have previously denied any wrongdoing.

The case revolves around the purchase in 2011 of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oil block by Eni and Shell for about $1.3 billion. read more

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Malabu Scandal: UK court rules in favour of Nigerian govt

and

A British judge ruled on Friday that up to $85 million from the notorious Malabu oil deal should be returned to the Nigerian government.

This is the first money to be successfully recovered from the $1.1 billion sale of the fantastically rich offshore oil block, OPL245, that has been mired in corruption allegations and legal trench warfare for years.

The sale, which was brokered by the then-government of Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, supposedly resolved a long running contest for the block between oil giant Shell and shelf company Malabu, beneficially owned by former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete. read more

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Malabu Scam: Human Rights Group File Criminal Complaint Against Shell In Netherland

Specifically, the criminal complaint is aimed at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Shell Petroleum N.V., and former or current directors Peter Voser, German Burmeister, Simon Henry and Ben van Beurden.

Prankken d’Oliveira, a group of Amsterdam-based lawyers, on Tuesday, submitted a criminal complaint against Shell and some of the company’s former directors in relation to Shell’s dodgy acquisition of the exploitation rights to the Nigerian oil block, OPL245, from Malabu Oil and Gas, a Nigerian shell company suspected to have been illegally awarded the licence to Mr. Dan Etete, while he was Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the lawyers on Tuesday.

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK: DEC 05, 2017

Prankken d’Oliveira, a group of Amsterdam-based lawyers, on Tuesday, submitted a criminal complaint against Shell and some of the company’s former directors in relation to Shell’s dodgy acquisition of the exploitation rights to the Nigerian oil block, OPL245, from Malabu Oil and Gas, a Nigerian shell company suspected to have been illegally awarded the licence to Mr. Dan Etete, while he was Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the lawyers on Tuesday. read more

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How Royal Dutch Shell/ENI Cheated Nigeria: Shell Emails Reveal Malabu’s OPL 245 Was Awarded For One-third of Company Estimates

Shell and Eni’s acquisition of Nigeria’s infamous OPL 245 oil block in Nigeria is now mired in an international corruption investigation that has spread to the United States, sources say, with a huge leak of documents of the companies revealing the deal was a financial disaster for the people of Nigeria from the beginning.  They also indicate that some of the money ended up in the hands of top politicians that include former President Goodluck Jonathan.  

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK DEC 04, 2017

Shell and Eni’s acquisition of Nigeria’s infamous OPL 245 oil block in Nigeria is now mired in an international corruption investigation that has spread to the United States, sources say, with a huge leak of documents of the companies revealing the deal was a financial disaster for the people of Nigeria from the beginning.

They also indicate that some of the money ended up in the hands of top politicians that include former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The companies, and several of their senior managers in Nigeria and Italy are already facing charges. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
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