Nigeria is retracting its $1.1 billion civil claims against Eni, concluding a protracted legal dispute in Italian courts over alleged corruption in an oil-field deal.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The country’s justice ministry, as per a Bloomberg-reviewed letter, will unconditionally withdraw the claims before Italy’s highest court by November 17, also relinquishing any further legal actions in Italy against Eni, its affiliates, and past or present officers concerning Oil Prospecting License 245 (OPL 245).
Eni acknowledges receipt of the letter and expresses readiness, in collaboration with the Nigerian government, to explore steps for converting the prospective license for the development of the oil block.
The Nigerian Ministry of Justice has not immediately responded to requests for comment.
Operations at the Nigerian oil block have been stalled for over a decade due to trials and legal disputes, despite its significant potential with an estimated 560 million barrels of recoverable reserves, according to Eni.
The fate of OPL 245 development hinges on the resolution of additional claims, including arbitration proceedings at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes and domestic litigation in Nigeria.
While Eni, Shell, and their managers were acquitted in a Milan criminal case last year, a lingering civil suit sought $3.5 billion in combined compensation from both companies, alleging it reflected the actual value of the 2011 license acquisition.