- Says development of field to bring great economic benefits to Nigeria
Eni, the Italian oil giant, has published documents on its website in which it said, depict that its management was never complicit nor had any knowledge of the payments made in the multi-billion-dollar OPL 245, also called Malabu oil field.
“Eni reiterates the total alienation of its own and that of its management with respect to the trial charges, and trusts that the truth can be re-established as soon as possible by the Judicial Court,” the company said a statement it made available to Business A.M.
The company said, “through this initiative, it outlines, with broad documentary support, the key points of an affair in which international institutional bodies such as the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have recently closed their investigations without taking any action against the company. An operation against which accurate internal investigations carried out on several occasions by independent third parties had in the past confirmed the correctness of the operation.”
The company published on its website, documents of the judicial investigation into the acquisition of OPL245, in Nigeria, carrying out an in-depth fact-checking on all the main points of the ongoing trial at the Milan Tribunal.
“The company,” reports a note, “has decided this transparency initiative in the belief that the reading of the documents will allow to verify directly how Eni acted with absolute correctness and in full compliance with the law.”
According to the Italian oil giant, which began operations in Nigeria in 1962 with the affiliate, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), and which today owns 10.4 percent stake in the Nigeria LNG Ltd, “the development of OPL245, would have brought and would bring great economic and social benefits to the Nigerian people.”
It said it corresponded directly to the Nigerian Government a fair and reasonable consideration with respect to the characteristics of the concession, the contractual terms and the historical evolution of the local and international oil market.
According to the documents seen by Business A.M., the company said: it was “not required to know, nor knew, the destination of the funds paid to the Malabu company by the Nigerian Government, a payment authorized by the British anti-money laundering authorities;” adding that, the allegations of bribes to Eni managers were denied by witnesses and experts in the courtroom, as well as by the Finance Guard itself in 2016.
It said, as part of the transaction, it (Eni) complied with internal procedures, international best practices and implemented any industrial, economic and process verification. “These are the key facts that Eni demonstrates in the dossier, with documentation and subpoena of supporting facts,” the oil company said.