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Eni takes Nigeria to Arbitration Court over OPL 245

Italian oil major, Eni has filed a request for arbitration against Nigeria at the World Bank’s dispute settlement body and plans to argue that the Federal Government’s failure to allow it exploit an oilfield it acquired with Royal Dutch Shell nearly a decade ago breaches their investment agreement, court documents show.

OPL 245, an offshore field awarded to the two oil companies in 2011, is the subject of multiple court cases worldwide, including a criminal case in Milan in which the Nigerian government alleges roughly $1.1 billion of payments from the companies was siphoned to politicians and middlemen.

But Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing.

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Eni submitted the request for arbitration against Nigeria with the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investor Disputes (ICSID), of which Nigeria is a member state, according to posting on ICSID’s website. It shows the case was registered in October but does not give details. Shell is not a party to the request, according to the posting.

An Eni spokesman said the request for arbitration was aimed at protecting its investments and investors, and that it was confident of a satisfactory solution for both parties.

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