Nigeria files new charges of corruption against Shell, Eni over OPL 245

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Nigeria’s anti-graft agency filed new charges against Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA, alleging the companies “corruptly” paid $801 million in 2011 when acquiring an offshore oil field, Bloomberg reports.

The European oil majors gave that sum to former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete, his Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd. and others in relation to the purchase of Oil Prospecting License 245 and “thereby committed an offence,” according to documents from the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“Eni reaffirms the correctness of its conduct within the acquisition of the license,” the Italian oil producer said in an emailed statement on Friday. Shell didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment. The latest charges come after a Nigerian court in January ordered Eni and Shell to temporarily cede control of the jointly owned license to the government pending investigations.