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Dow Jones Newswires: Nigeria Min Appears Before House Panel On Shell – Report

31 August 2006  
 
LAGOS -(Dow Jones)- Nigeria’s oil minister Wednesday appeared before a House committee to answer questions concerning an alleged underpayment to the government by a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA), a private television station reported.

Channels TV said that Minister of State for Petroleum Edmund Daukoru presented the Committee on Petroleum a value-for-money audit report that the committee has said is vital to its investigation.

The committee had invited him to testify about an alleged underpayment of $3.2 billion for crude oil shipped by Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria, or SPDC.

Channels TV reported that Daukoru disclosed an outstanding amount owed by SPDC that was substantially smaller than the $3.2 billion in the report, but he was quoted as saying that “claims will be filed accordingly to recover the money from SPDC.”

Daukoru said SPDC had no intention to cheat the government.

When the issue arose last week, SPDC said in a statement that it “conducts its business in compliance with relevant regulations and the law” and that “during the period in question, no wrong doing was found.”
 
SPDC is a joint venture operated by Shell, which owns 30%, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Co. holding 55%, Total SA (TOT) 10% and Eni SpA (E) unit Agip SpA 5%.

-By Vincent Nwanma, Dow Jones Newswires; 23-4-802-358-4996; [email protected]

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