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

Author: Stanley Reed, New York Times (USA), Published on: 20 December 2017

An Italian judge ruled on Wednesday that two of the world’s largest oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni... 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.

Both companies have denied wrongdoing...

...The case stems from a long-running investigation by Italian prosecutors into the two companies’ purchase in 2011 of a potentially lucrative offshore tract called OPL 245 in the Atlantic Ocean off Nigeria.

The payment to the Nigerian government was intended to resolve a dispute over the tract, which was also claimed by a company called Malabu Oil and Gas. That company has been linked to a former Nigerian oil minister, Dan Etete. The Nigerian government, in turn, agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle Malabu’s claims.

The Dutch police raided the offices of Royal Dutch Shell last year as part of the investigation.

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Related companies: Shell