Malabu oil deal: Shell faces criminal charges in Netherlands

Bonga: Shell to make final investment call in 2019
PHOTO CREDIT: SHIPS & PORTS archive

World oil major Shell said the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office (DPP) is preparing to file criminal charges against it over the controversial Malabu oil deal regarding Oil Prospecting License 245 (OPL 245) in Nigeria.

In a statement on Friday, Shell said the charges will be directly or indirectly related to a 2011 settlement of disputes over the lucrative but highly controversial oilfield.

Shell and Italian oil giant Eni had jointly acquired the OPL 245 field from a company owned by former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, who was convicted of money laundering in an unrelated case in France in 2007.

The oil companies are already facing charges of bribery in a trial in  Milan over the deal.

Prosecutors in Italy allege that the two oil companies knew that around $1.1 billion used for the acquisition of OPL 245 would be used to pay politicians, businessmen and middlemen.

Both oil firms, however, denied any wrongdoing.

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