By Our Reporter
Nigeria is desirous of solving the knotty issues around the disputed OPL 245 oil block as it primes to draw investments to its oil and gas industry. Towards resolving this, federal government has held useful discussions with Shell and Eni to resolve the matter, the nation’s oil minister said on Wednesday.
Minister of State for Petroleum Heineken Lokpobiri restated the government’s stand that there was no criminal liability on its part, or by the other parties, in the oil block deal, which has been embroiled in litigation for years.
Nigeria in November withdrew a $1.1 billion civil claim against Shell (SHEL.L), opens new tab and Eni (ENI.MI), opens new tab related to allegations of corruption in the deal, ending all litigation around the oil asset.
An Italian court in 2021 acquitted Shell, Eni, the operator of the block, and company executives of corruption allegations in the acquisition of the field a decade earlier.
“For 28 years, there has been no investment there. Nobody has benefited from the block,” Lokpobiri told reporters. “The President in his wisdom directed that we should resolve the problems around OPL 245.”
Lokpobiri said the government is committed to resolving the issues surrounding OPL 245 in a way that benefits all parties and has held meetings, including in London last week, with Shell and Eni to discuss the matter.