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Malabu Oil Deal: Shell, Eni Submit Probe Reports To US Dept Of Justice


Multinational oil companies, Royal Dutch Shel and Eni, have voluntarily lodged files of the charges entered against them in Italy and Nigeria in the probe of Malabu oil deal to the US Department of Justice.

Both oil firms had tried to purchase the offshore petroleum block in Nigeria, with proven reserves of 9 billion barrels.

No investigation has been opened up on the companies in the U.S, but their shares are traded on the country’s stock exchange.

The companies are trying to forestall questions from the U.S government ahead of their cross-continent trials in Italy, Netherlands, and Nigeria.

A trial will get on the way in Milan- Italy in May, another is looming in Nigeria and an investigation is on the way in the Netherlands.

In May of 2012, Global Witness published a statement detailing agreement by Nigerian subsidiaries of Shell and ENI to pay the Nigerian Government US$1,092,040,000 to acquire the offshore oil block OPL 245.

The Nigerian government had also consented to pay the exact sum to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company generally reported as controlled by Dan Etete, a petroleum minister during the Abacha era.

The two International Oil Companies (IOC’s), deny having any agreements with Malabu, but with the Nigerian Government.

Nigeria’s former Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, however stated in an interview that: “SNUD [A Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary in Nigeria] and ENI agreed to pay Malabu, through the Federal Government acting as an obligor, the sum of US$1,092,040,000 billion in full and final settlement of any and all claims, interests or rights relating to or in connection with Block 245.”

Reports in the Nigerian media corroborated the former minister’s claim, as it revealed that the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration instructed the release almost 80% of the funds paid for OPL245 (US$801,540,000) to accounts controlled by Malabu.

The funds were subsequently shared though convoluted structures to certain companies and individuals.

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