Continental Focus, International Reach

Nigeria Files Suit Against OPL 245 Operators

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Nigerian government has filed a lawsuit against Shell and ENI. The government is asking for $1.1 billion from a London commercial court regarding the 2011 OPL 245 oilfield deal.

The two international firms are already embroiled in a criminal case in Italy, accused of corruption regarding their award of OPL 245. Italian prosecutors allege that Shell and ENI paid roughly $1.1 billion in bribes to gain access to the acreage.

Nigeria claims funds supposedly paid to the government “were in fact immediately paid through to a company controlled by Dan Etete, formerly the Nigerian minister of petroleum, and used for, amongst other things, bribes and kickbacks.”

The Nigerian government also included Malabu Oil & Gas in the lawsuit, and a company called Energy Venture Partners Ltd. Malabu was allegedly controlled by Etete, who took possession of the $1.1 billion payment and used it for bribes and kickbacks, according to the lawsuit.