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Reuters: Italy widens probe into alleged obstruction in Nigeria graft case

In the corruption case, Eni and Shell are accused of buying Nigeria’s OPL 245 offshore oilfield in the knowledge that the vast majority of the $1.3 billion purchase price would be siphoned off to agents and middlemen in corrupt payments.

Emilio Parodi: JULY 4, 2019

MILAN, July 4 (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors are widening an investigation into suspected obstruction of justice by officials of oil group Eni, sources said, threatening to open a new legal front for the company as it defends itself in a major corruption trial.

The inquiry is preliminary and has been overshadowed by the ongoing trial, which centres on the 2011 purchase of a Nigerian oilfield by Eni and oil major Shell, but it is gathering momentum, said three sources familiar with the probe. read more

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SAHARA REPORTERS:Nigeria’s OPL 245 Scandal: One Of World’s Biggest Oil Industry Corruption Trials

Italian prosecutors accuse former and current executives of the two energy giants of paying bribes to secure the licence. In March 2019, Dutch prosecutors said they were preparing criminal charges against Shell over OPL 245.

BY SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK: JUL 18, 2019

According to Reuters, one of the oil industry’s biggest corruption trials revolves around a Nigerian offshore licence known as OPL 245, which Royal Dutch Shell and Italy’s Eni bought in 2011.

Italian prosecutors accuse former and current executives of the two energy giants of paying bribes to secure the licence.

Shell and Eni, and their executives have denied the accusations and any wrongdoing.

Below are a list of legal actions that have arisen from the award of OPL 245: read more

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Malabu Scandal: How Shell, Eni, Jonathan’s ministers, others negotiated $1.3 billion deal – Witness

Although Shell and ENI initially claimed they did not know the money would end up with Mr Etete and his cronies, evidence has shown that claim to be false.

: July 18, 2019

A major witness in the long-running Malabu oil scandal on Wednesday told an Italian court that Eni officials knew that the controversial payment made in the deal would go to Malabu oil company, controlled by Nigeria’s former oil minister, Dan Etete.

Vincenzo Armanna, former Eni manager and defendant in the corruption trial, said in his testimony that it was clear to everyone involved in the deal that Mr Etete would get over $1 billion, adding that there was no doubt the money was going to Malabu. read more

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Reuters: Eni officials tried to tamper with witness in Nigeria OPL 245 case: prosecutor

Oil major Shell (RDSa.L), which jointly bought the offshore field with Eni, is also on trial for corruption over the deal.

Emilio Parodi: 17 July 2019

MILAN (Reuters) – Officials from Eni (ENI.MI) sought to convince a witness, a former Eni manager, to withdraw some statements he made during investigations into a Nigerian corruption case involving the Italian oil group, a court heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale made the comment in a trial hearing into the case, during a legal debate over a request by Eni lawyers to adjourn proceedings to give more time to consider evidence in a related obstruction-of-justice investigation. read more

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OILPRICE.COM: Eni Managers Accused of Attempted Witness Tampering In OPL 245 Oil Corruption Case

An Italian prosecutor told a local court on Wednesday the court was made aware that managers at Italy’s oil major Eni tried to tamper with a witness in an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in an oil block award in Nigeria.

“We have become aware that Eni, through its managers, would have tried to influence and would have approached the defendant (Vincenzo) Armanna to convince him to withdraw some of his statements,” Reuters quoted prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale as telling the court today. read more

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Litigation stemming from OPL 245, including criminal cases against Shell and ENI

In May 2018, the main trial in Milan started, in which Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi, former Shell exploration chief Malcolm Brinded and 11 other defendants, as well as the two companies, were accused by Italian prosecutors of paying bribes to secure the licence. All the accused denied wrongdoing.

FACTBOX-Legal cases sparked by Nigerian oilfield licence award

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – One of the oil industry’s biggest corruption trials revolves around a Nigerian offshore licence known as OPL 245, which Royal Dutch Shell and Italy’s Eni bought in 2011.

Italian prosecutors accuse former and current executives of the two energy giants of paying bribes to secure the licence.

Shell and Eni, and their executives, have denied the accusations and any wrongdoing.

Below are a list of legal actions that have arisen from the award of OPL 245:

* Some key issues related to the OPL 245 case came to light in two separate civil suits  filed shortly after the 2011 deal by a Nigerian, Emeka Obi, and a former Russian diplomat, Ednan Agaev, who said they were owed millions of dollars by a Nigerian company, Malabu Oil and Gas, for arranging meetings with Shell and Eni in relation to the licence, court filings show. Obi was awarded at least $100 million for his work as a “dealmaker”, the court records show. Agaev reached an out-of-court settlement. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

OPL 245: Italy protests Swiss delay in releasing evidence in Nigeria graft case

Swiss police found the documents in a briefcase they seized in April 2016 in an inquiry unrelated to the corruption case, and the source said Milan prosecutors believed the documents could be vital to their prosecution of Eni and Shell. But Italy’s request for the documents to be handed over has been blocked by Swiss courts after repeated legal challenges by the owner of the briefcase, Nigerian lawyer Emeka Obi, who was charged alongside Eni and Shell executives in the graft case.

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors have complained to Switzerland about lengthy delays in obtaining evidence they have requested in an international corruption case involving oil firms Shell and Eni, a source familiar with the matter said.

Milan prosecutors wrote in April to the Geneva prosecutors’ office in a previously undisclosed letter, describing their three-year wait for documents to be handed over by Swiss authorities as “unprecedented”, the source said. read more

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nrc.nl: Dutch corruption case against Shell is, according to lawyers, inevitably delayed

Printed below is a translation of an article published this weekend by the Dutch broadcaster NRC. It is about the Shell internal communications and documents relating to the OPL 245 Nigerian oil deal corruption case seized during a raid carried out by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) at Shell HQ in the Hague in 2016. In a controversial move, Shell lawyers are resorting to legal machinations to frustrate the progress of the Dutch proceedings. On this occasion by claiming legal privilege and secrecy over the seized evidence. Criminal proceedings relating to the same massively corrupt oil deal are moving forward quickly in Italy (but at a snail’s pace in the Netherlands, Shell’s home country). A related tapped telephone conversation involving Shell CEO Ben van Beurden when he ordered that no documents should be volunteered to the investigators carrying out the raid can be heard here. Undisputably, another Shell cover-up tactic. So much for Shell’s claimed business principles from a company that seems to employ more MI6 people than MI6. Listen to the taped call. 

Dutch corruption case against Shell is, according to lawyers, inevitably delayed

Professional secrecy

Call for OM to simplify procedures related to non-disclosure law encounters astonishment among lawyers and scientists

By our editors Carola Houtekamer and Merijn Rengers: Amsterdam.

Shell and the Public Prosecution Service were honest about it on Thursday. Yes, they clash over the internal Shell documents that were seized by the FIOD investigation service at the head office in The Hague during the beginning of 2016. They deal with the corruption case involving OPL245, a mega-oil field off the coast of Nigeria. read more

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Report of current court proceedings in OPL 245 criminal case against Shell and ENI

It appears, according to court documents, at the request of ‘Royal Dutch Shell plc’ and four suspected former Shell employees who are mentioned by name and by name in the Italian summons. These are two former British secret agents, hired by Shell as oil men whose main task was to make the inscrutable Nigerian policy more transparent. And two senior Shell managers: former board member Malcolm Brinded and former Africa director Peter Robinson. The foursome is said to have been closely involved in preparing the bribes payments…: “He is a former head of the British secret service MI6, but really no more than a junior employee at Shell in Nigeria.

…in the Netherlands, the FIOD invaded the head office in 2016 and a criminal case for corruption seems imminent. 

Translation of an article published today by the Dutch broadcaster NRC Handelsblad.

“By Nigerian standards, this was a great oil deal”

Shell lawsuit: After months of waiting, Shell took the floor on Tuesday in the court case about possible bribery at the unexplored Nigerian oil field OPL245.

By Merijn Rengers, Carola Wood Room, June 4, 2019

Room 7, where the largest corruption case in Dutch company history is fought, is bursting at the seams. It is warm and noisy and the available seats are already set aside early in the morning for at least 25 Italian lawyers, their crowd of assistants and prosecutors. The other listeners – Shell representatives, activists, interested parties – are forced to sit and sit in the back, or cage in two paying cells on either side of the courtroom where normally detained suspects await their verdict. read more

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The Washington Post: Sunset for Oil Is No Longer Just Talk

By David Fickling | Bloomberg: June 5 at 7:03 AM

Greenwashed rhetoric is such a staple of the oil industry that it’s easy to assume every energy executive talking about climate and the transition to a zero-carbon economy is just mouthing words.

Barely a year after BP Plc Chief Executive Officer John Browne promised “action and solutions” on climate change in a 1997 speech, he led the then-biggest oil takeover in history with the acquisition of Amoco Corp. On his retirement a decade later, after years of rebranding about moving “beyond petroleum,” he left a base of oil and gas reserves more than twice the size of the one he inherited. read more

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BBC News: BP to pay billions in suspicious Senegal gas deal

03 JUNE 2019

BP has agreed to pay around $10bn (£8bn) to a businessman involved in a suspicious energy deal.

The energy giant bought Frank Timis’ stake in a gas field off the coast of Senegal for $250 million in 2017.

But documents obtained by BBC Panorama and Africa Eye reveal that BP will also pay his company between $9bn and $12bn in royalties.

Both BP and Mr Timis deny any wrongdoing. read more

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Nigeria says ex-president and his oil minister took bribes – court filing

ABUJA, May 10 (Reuters) – The Nigerian government has accused former President Goodluck Jonathan and his then oil minister of accepting bribes and breaking the country’s laws to broker a $1.3 billion oil deal eight years ago, a London court filing shows.

The deal, in which Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell and Italian peer Eni jointly acquired the rights to the OPL 245 offshore oilfield, has spawned legal cases spanning several countries.

In papers advancing a London commercial court suit against Shell and Eni, lawyers for the Nigerian government said Jonathan and former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke conspired to “receive bribes and make a secret profit”, keeping the government from getting what it was owed from the deal. read more

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Nigeria escalates fight over OPL 245 oil block granted to Eni and Shell

in Abuja and in London: 10 MAY 2019:

The Anglo-Dutch and Italian companies paid $1.3bn for the block, but Nigeria believes the undeveloped deepwater block could be worth at least $3.5bn and damages should now be calculated on that basis, documents filed in the commercial division of the High Court in London said.

The claim in the English courts alleges that Shell and Eni “both paid bribes” either directly or indirectly and senior executives at both companies “received bribes (or were intended to receive bribes)” as part of the 2011 deal. read more

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MORE OPL 245 BOMBSHELL’S

LATEST FROM BLOOMBERG NEWS:

In another payment recounted in the lawsuit, Peter Robinson, then Shell’s regional vice president, ended up with “several hundred million Swiss frances”… Shell last year accused Robinson of taking kickbacks, but said he purposely tried to hide it from the company. The Nigerian government says none of the transactions could have happened without the support or willful “blind eye” of Shell CEO Peter Voser, former CFO Simon Henry, and current head of integrated gas Wetselaar, among others. Its oil and gas exploration director at the time Malcolm Brinded was “closely involved,” the government claims. Brinded is also on trial in Milan.

By Kelly Gilblom, Jonathan Browning, and Chiara Albanese
7 May 2019, 12:29 BST

*Nigeria says top Shell brass approved illegal OPL 245 oil deal

*Companies also denied wrongdoing in 2011 criminal bribery case

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA face additional corruption allegations over a Nigerian oil deal, after the West African country’s government said in a London lawsuit that it believes a handful of executives, including CEOs, were tied to more than $1 billion in bribery payments.

In court documents filed in early April, the Nigerian government said the oil companies’ senior managers agreed in 2011 to make a large payment for an offshore oil block, understanding the money would trickle down to government officials and senior executives from both companies. The filing singles out individuals who haven’t previously been caught up in the scandal, including former Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser and Maarten Wetselaar, the current head of its large natural gas business. read more

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Malabu Scandal: Nigerian govt demands $3.5 billion from Eni, Shell

The new claim, dated April 8 and signed by Jonathan Cary, was filed against 14 defendants, including Shell, Eni, Malabu and their respective subsidiaries. Shell and ENI initially claimed they did not know the money would end up with Mr Etete and his cronies, evidence has shown that claim to be false. After a joint investigation by Global Witness and Finance Uncovered, Shell later admitted it did know the money would go to Mr Etete.

6 MAY 2019

The Nigerian government is seeking about $3.5 billion in damages from oil giants Eni and Shell over the controversial Malabu oil deal, PREMIUM TIMES has gathered.

The new claim is contained in a London court filing by the Nigerian government against the two oil multinationals and other parties involved in the long-running case.

The court documents, obtained by this newspaper’s London partners, Finance Uncovered, and seen by PREMIUM TIMES, shows the government also alleged that the Malabu deal was “corrupt” and not done in the interest of Nigeria. read more

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THE TIMES: Shell and Eni face $3.5bn claim for OPL 245 damages

Nigeria could seek as much as $3.5 billion in damages from Royal Dutch Shell and Eni over an allegedly corrupt deal for one of Africa’s biggest untapped oilfields.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria has filed a claim in the High Court in London against the two oil companies over the deal in which they acquired the OPL 245 oil licence for $1.3 billion. It alleges that the deal was corrupt and resulted in Nigeria receiving “no or negligible value” for rights to the “extremely valuable” offshore licence, which it estimates was in fact worth “at least $3.5 billion”. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com
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