On the 5th March 2018 an unprecedented bribery trial began against oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, together with some of their most senior executives including current Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi and Shell’s former head of Upstream International Malcolm Brinded. No company the size of Shell or a sitting CEO of an oil major have ever stood trial for bribery before.
The case brought by the Milan Public Prosecutor alleges that $520 million from the 2011 deal for one of Nigeria’s most promising oil blocks, known as OPL 245, was converted into cash and intended to be paid to Nigerian government officials. The prosecutor further alleges that money was also channelled to Eni and Shell executives with $50 million in cash delivered to the home of Eni’s current Chief Operations and Technology Officer Roberto Casula.
The next hearing in the trial is scheduled for the 14th of May. Both companies have denied wrongdoing.