Executives of oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, will face trial in Italy over the $1.1 billion Malabu affair. The trial is expected to commence in March next year. Among the executives to be tried are Eni Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Claudio Descalzi. Italian prosecutors in February this year, had recommended that Descalzi face trial. The move is the latest in a set of twists and turns over the trial that has run concurrently in Italy and Nigeria.
What is Malabu about ?
Shell bought the OPL 245 oil block for $1.3 billion dollars in 2011 supposedly from the Federal government. Ultimately the money found its way to Dan Etete. Malabu owned by former petroleum minister Dan Etete acquired the block from the federal government in 1998 for $20 million dollars. He was also petroleum minister at the time. Several top ranking civil servants and politicians were alleged to have collected bribes. This led the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) going to court, which lead to the interim forfeiture order. About $80 million of the funds have been recovered by the Federal Government.
Eni (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) was founded on February 10, 1953 and is one of the global supermajors in the oil sector. Italian government owns a 30.303% golden share in the company, 3.934% held through the state Treasury and 26.369% held through the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. Another 2.012% of the shares is held by the People’s Bank of China. Eni’s subsidiaries include oil exploration company Agip, Saipem, Tecnomare and Versalis. The company is listed on the Italian, UK and New York stock exchanges.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, commonly known as Shell, is a British–Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1907 in London.
Shell is active in every area of the oil and gas
industry. including exploration and production, refining, transport, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading. It also has renewable energy activities. Shell is one of the largest companies by market capitalization on the London Stock Exchange