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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Shell sees Nigeria corruption trial lasting many months - memo



Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS) expects a landmark corruption trial over a Nigerian oil deal to last many months, warning staff of continued critical media coverage in the $1.3 billion case, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
Shell's Legal Director Donny Ching encouraged employees to study an internal web page that the Anglo-Dutch company set up for the case before responding to questions from relatives and friends.
Shell and Italian peer Eni (ENI.M) are defendants in a Milan bribery trial, now in its early stages, focusing on the 2011 purchase of Nigeria's OPL 245 offshore oilfield for about $1.3 billion.
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi and four ex-Shell managers, including former Shell Foundation Chairman Malcolm Brinded, are also on trial in one of the largest cases in the history of the oil and gas industry. All the accused have denied wrongdoing.
Milan prosecutors allege bribes were paid to win the licence to explore the field which, because of disputes, has never entered into production.
"We do not yet know how long the trial will last but expect this to be many months, continuing into next year," Ching said in the Sept. 20 memo, provided to Reuters by John Donovan, who runs the independent royaldutchshellplc.com website.
The website often serves as a forum to criticise the oil major.

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