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Oil giants Shell, Eni on trial in big Nigerian bribery case

   The Associated Press

MILAN (AP) — A corporate bribery trial billed as the biggest in history opened Monday against the Shell and Eni oil companies as well as former and current executives, all charged in a $1.1 billion scandal to win control of one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks.

The size of the two oil companies makes the trial the biggest ever, according to anti-corruption campaigners, who also say it is unprecedented that Eni’s current CEO, Claudio Descalzi, remains in his post while he faces such serious charges.  read more

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Eni and Shell trial over Nigeria kickbacks postponed

Eni and Shell stand accused of handing out bribes during the 2011 purchase of an offshore oil block estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of crude, for $1.3 billion

A trial for oil giants Eni and Shell over bribery and corruption allegations in the purchase of an offshore oilfield in Nigeria was delayed for two months on Monday.

The trial had been set to start in a Milan court, but the judge said that, due to a high number of cases, it would be transferred to another chamber to avoid further delays. read more

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

OPL 245 corruption scandal coming to the boil again

On Friday 2 March, Reuters reported that the criminal trial in Italy against Royal Dutch Shell and Eni executives in relation to the OPL 245 oil deal due to start Monday, 5th March, has been transferred to another court in Milan, thereby delaying the proceedings.

Yesterday, 4 March, the UK Guardian newspaper published an article Oil deal corruption trial in Italy is ‘wake-up call for industry‘ indicating the trial is still commencing on Monday 5 March. It says that Shell’s Malcolm Brinded is due in court. It also mentions the involvement of Shell executive John Copleston, one of the former MI6 employees hired by Shell. read more

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

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

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

Two oil majors face trial over a controversial deal in Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell and Eni are about to go on trial over an alleged bribery scheme to secure a valuable oil field

Dutch investigators, too, are on Shell’s back. They raided its offices in The Hague in 2016 and tapped the phone of Ben van Beurden, Shell’s current chief executive. A sizeable team of Dutch investigators is still working on the case…

…informed Eni that America’s FBI, which was following the OPL 245 money trail, had contacted him about testifying…

Both firms would face fines not only in Europe but possibly also in America, whose crime-busters could use the deferred-prosecution agreements from 2010 to brand Shell and Eni repeat offenders, calculating their fines accordingly.

Mar 3rd 2018

RESOURCE-RICH Nigeria has long ignited interest from oil firms, but it can be a dangerously combustible environment when it comes to the risk of corruption. Two firms caught up in scandals are Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, Italy’s state-backed energy group. In 2010 both entered into deferred-prosecution agreements with America’s Department of Justice after being implicated in separate Nigerian bribery schemes. But those pale beside a case involving the two companies that is set to go to trial in Milan on March 5th. read more

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

Eni’s strong performance clouded by allegations of bribery

Extract taken from FT article relating to OPL 245 Shell/ENI/Malabu Oil Deal/Dan Etete/Malcolm Brinded billion dollar scandal: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OPL 245: Shell Den Haag HQ was raided by 60 investigators

Snippets from an article originally published by Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland on 9 November 2017. Translated from Dutch to English by Iefke Prins.

Clearly, Shell has played a crucial role in criminal activities; ‘the most important decisions were made at the headquarters in Den Haag’; Top management at Shell looked the other way and did not want any contact with Etete’; In the early morning of 17 February 2016, thirty tax authority investigators together with thirty Italian colleagues raided the Shell headquarters at the request of the Italian prosecutor. In the directors’ offices, 1800 pages of documents and e-mails were seized.; According to the e-mails, Shell was very much aware that Etete was corrupt.; On the day of the raid on Shell’s offices, the company’s CEO Ben van Beurden’s phone was wiretapped by Dutch police. In a leaked conversation with CFO Simon Henry, he mentioned ‘unhelpful e-mails’ from Copleston, who speculated ‘who would get paid what’. Van Beurden chalked up the conversations as ‘pub talk’, which he called ‘foolish’. He also decided that it would be better if the raid would not be reported to shareholders.; He instructed CFO Henry to ‘not voluntarily say anything other than what’s being asked’ to the authorities.; Shell’s behavior is all the more striking because the company was already under enhanced control by US authorities because of another Nigerian corruption case.

FULL ARTICLE BELOW

Bags filled with Naira’s were divided amongst politicians. Photo: Shuttershock.

A scheme to purchase an oil field from a corrupt Nigerian former minister of oil was devised and approved at Royal Shell’s headquarters in The Hague. The complete file landed on journalist Harm Ede Botje’s desk. A reconstruction.

A raid on Shell’s headquarters, two former UK Secret Service MI6 agents negotiating with a corrupt Nigerian former minister of oil affairs on behalf of Shell, a former Russian ambassador intermediary in talks with the FBI, a fugitive Nigerian ex-Minister of Justice, millions of dollars in kickbacks for employees of the Italian oil company Eni, bags of Nigerian Nairas being divided among politicians and businessmen. They seem the right ingredients for a riveting thriller, but these events actually happened. read more

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

JP Morgan ‘sent $800m to Nigerian fraudster Dan Etete’

An agreement was struck under which Malabu would be paid to give up the licence, which would then be sold to Shell and the Italian oil company Eni.

17 Dec 2017

The Nigerian government is suing JP Morgan for $875m (£660m), alleging the Wall Street banking giant acted as the middleman in an illegal oil deal and made payments to a convicted money launderer.

Papers filed with the High Court in London claim that in 2011 the bank transferred money to a company controlled by Dan Etete, a former oil minister in the Nigerian government. He had previously been convicted of money laundering by French courts and is being pursued by Nigerian authorities. read more

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

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

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

Shell and top managers are being prosecuted

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service is also investigating whether Shell and four (former) directors, including the current chairman of the board, Ben van Beurden, will be prosecuted for this corruption case. According to Professor of Business Ethics Wim Dubbink, the argument that corruption is inevitable in some countries is “morally and legally an invalid argument”.

Translated from an article published in Dutch language on 21 Dec 2017 by nrc.nl

Corruption

The lawsuit in Milan is about paying over one billion euros for a Nigerian oilfield by Shell and the Italian Eni.

  • Hester van Santen
  • Erik van der Walle
21 December 2017

Justice in Italy took a historic decision on Wednesday. Never before have a company with the size of Shell and such senior managers been sued by corruption. In addition to Shell, the Italian oil company Eni is being prosecuted for bribery in the purchase of an oil field in Nigeria six years ago.

Also (former) top executives of Eni and Shell are prosecuted in the case, including the current CEO of the Italian oil company Eni, Claudio Descalzi. Four former employees of Shell are also suspects, including former British board member Malcolm Brinded. read more

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

Shell is being charged with corruption in Nigeria

Shell employees at a borehole in Nigeria in 2002 where the oil comes from the ground and flows via pipes to terminals. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte / Sven Torfinn

…the crimes that would have taken place under the responsibility of Shell were carried out by Malcom Brinded, Peter Robinson, Guy Colegate and John Coplestone between autumn 2009 and 2 May 2014.

Translated from an article published in Dutch language on 20 Dec 2017 by Het Financieele Dagblad

Shell is being charged with corruption in Nigeria an Italian judge decided this afternoon. The lawsuit starts in Milan on 5 March.

In addition to Shell, the Italian oil and gas company Eni and its current CEO, Claudio Descalzi, and a number of former Shell directors are also being put on trial. The verdict follows after months of preliminary investigation and a number of hearings in Milan. read more

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

Shell, Eni Face Italian Charges Over Nigerian Deal -Update

By Eric Sylvers in Milan and Sarah Kent in London Features Dow Jones Newswires 

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the chief executive of state-backed Italian energy company Eni SpA and other industry executives must stand trial on corruption charges connected to a 2011 Nigerian oil deal, an Italian judge ruled Wednesday.

The prosecution marks a rare case in which top oil executives could face jail time for corruption allegations.

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

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