$1.6b Malabu Oil deal: ENI says no fraud was committed

*General views of Snam Rete Gas SpA’s Italgas Depot and ENI SpA Headquarters. Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg.

12 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Board of Directors of Eni (Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited) have said the transactions which resulted in the auctioning of the Malabu Oil block for $1,616,690,656.78 were not fraudulent.

The oil firm said it based its position on the outcome of forensic investigations into the block. It disclosed that an independent US law firm conducted the investigations and returned a not guilty verdict.

“Eni’s Board of Directors today takes note of the outcome of further forensic investigations into the 2011 transaction between Eni and Shell and the Nigerian Government for the acquisition of the OPL 245 licence in Nigeria. The investigations were conducted by an independent US law firm. They were commissioned by Eni’s Board of Statutory Auditors and Watch Structure.

“The investigations examined the new materials and further information filed by the Milan prosecutors as part of the closure of the investigation in December 2016.

“The law firm confirms the conclusions reached by previous investigations in 2015, stating that there is no evidence of corrupt conduct in relation to the transaction. Eni’s Board of Directors confirmed its total confidence that neither the company nor its CEO Claudio Descalzi were involved in alleged illicit conduct under investigation.”

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