Royal Dutch Shell

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As of 14:43 16 Jan 2019
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88,356.03 million
As of 14:43 16 Jan 2019

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BreakingNigeria files legal claim against Shell

The Nigerian government has filed a billion-dollar claim in a British court against oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Eni over alleged fraud and corruption that diverted millions of dollars from the African nation.

The $1.1bn (£868.5m) claim lodged in the UK High Court alleges that money used in a 2011 deal for one of Africa's most promising oil blocks was paid to a company called Malabu, controlled by Nigeria's former oil minister Dan Etete.

The funds were allegedly used for "bribes and kickbacks", according to the Nigerian government.

A separate criminal trial related to the 2011 deal over the oil block, known as OPL 245, is continuing in Italy.

The Nigerian government said Shell and Eni assisted "corrupt Nigerian government officials to breach fiduciary duties" in the deal.

Shell rejects Nigeria claims

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Royal Dutch Shell has rejected the Nigerian government's claim of fraud and corruption. The African nation has today filed a $1.1bn legal claim in London against the company, and also Italy's ENI, about an oil block call OPL 245.

Shell says in a statement: “We maintain that the 2011 settlement of long-standing legal disputes related to OPL 245 was a fully legal transaction with Eni and the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the most senior officials of the relevant ministries.

"Since this matter is before the Tribunal of Milan, it would not be appropriate for us to comment in detail on the new claims that have been made by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, based on our review of the Prosecutor of Milan's file and all of the information and facts available to us, we do not believe that there is a case to answer in this matter.”

Eni rejects Nigeria claim

Nigerian oil workers
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Italian energy giant Eni has rejected claims of fraud and corruption by the Nigerian government.

Earlier today, Nigeria filed a $1.1bn claim in London against Eni and Royal Dutch Shell over an oilfield licence called OPL 245.

Eni said it rejected "any allegation of impropriety or irregularity in connection with this transaction".

The company "signed a commercial agreement in 2011 for a new licence for OPL 245 with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company and the consideration for the license was paid directly to the Nigerian government," it said.

Shell 'links pay to carbon emissions'

oil rig workers

Royal Dutch Shell will set carbon emissions targets next year and link these to executive pay, according to the Financial Times.

"By setting targets “we will be systematically driving down our carbon footprint over time”, chief executive Ben van Beurden told the Financial Times.

The move comes after pressure from shareholders, including the Church of England, who have pushed for oil firms to help combat global warming.

Did Nigeria lose $6bn in a shady oil deal?

Energy giants Shell and Eni deny wrongdoing in a deal dogged by allegations of corruption
The energy giants Eni and Shell deny wrongdoing in a deal dogged by allegations of corruption.

A court in Milan is considering charges of corruption against the Anglo-Dutch and Italian oil companies, over a deal to acquire the rights to explore in an offshore block, OPL 245, which is thought to have nine billion barrels of crude.

The firms maintain they will be exonerated because they paid money directly to the Nigerian Government. 

Campaigners claim Nigeria lost $6bn because the deal was skewed in favour of Eni and Shell.

Eva Lee from Global Witness tells the BBC's Russell Padmore about the controversial deal.

(Picture: An oil rig in Nigeria. Getty Images.)

Oil stocks bolster FTSE

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While mining shares are seeing the biggest gains today, oil stocks are also helping to bolster the UK stock market as crude prices rise on news of possible output cuts.

BP shares are up 2.1% while rival oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is up 1.8%.

The FTSE 100 index is currently 21.38 points higher at 7,126.72.