Italian Court Dismisses Nigeria’s $1.092 Billion Compensation Request

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CEM REPORT, ENERGY | Nigeria’s $1.092 billion compensation request against Italian energy group, Eni and Shell Plc has been rejected.

An appeal court sitting in Milan, Italy rejected the request on Friday in civil proceedings relating to a $1.3 billion oilfield deal.

While documents explaining the reasons behind the court decision are expected to be made available in 90 days, Nigeria’s legal representative on Friday said that the country was still deciding whether to appeal the decision at Italy’s top administrative court, Reuters report.

On the other hand, Eni has expressed satisfaction with the appeals court’s decision adding that it had started an arbitration against the African country at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

“Eni recalls that it has promoted an ICSID international arbitration in Washington, United States, against Nigeria for the protection of its OPL 245 license with respect to the overall detrimental consequences suffered in the affair.”

In a separate message, Shell also said it was pleased that the civil proceedings had been dismissed.

“This follows the Milan criminal tribunal’s finding that there was no case to answer for Shell or its former employees when they were fully acquitted in 2021, a decision that was upheld in July 2022, when criminal proceedings ended.”

In July,  prosecutors had dropped related criminal proceedings, clearing Eni and Shell, as well as managers including Eni Chief Executive, Claudio Descalzi, in one of the oil industry’s biggest alleged corruption cases.

The main case revolved around a deal in which Eni and Shell acquired the OPL 245 offshore oilfield in 2011 to settle a long-standing dispute over ownership.

Prosecutors alleged that just under $1.1 billion of the total amount was siphoned off to politicians and middlemen.

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