Italian oil and gas giant Eni has said it is cooperating with the Milan prosecutor’s office in relation to the preliminary investigation launched on the acquisition of the Nigerian block OPL 245 in 2011.
The company in a statement denied any illegal conduct in the deal saying the entire payment for the issuance of the license to Eni and Shell was made uniquely to the Nigerian government and not a third party which is under investigations.
The company’s CEO Claudio Descalzi and Chief Development, Operations and Technology Officer are also under preliminary investigation by the Milan prosecutor’s office.
Notably the current CEO who is also the former head of its core exploration and production division at the took over from Paolo Scaroni who was accused for alleged corruption in Algeria.
This is however the second such case in Nigeria with the first having been in 2009 when the company paid $400 million to lay the dispute to rest.
‘We believe that the potential negative impact on Eni may be worth 500 million euros or around 1 percent of the current market capitalisation,’ Reuters quotes Milan brokerage Akros.