Nigeria withdraws $1.1 billion claim against Eni on oilfield deal

(Reuters) -Nigeria is withdrawing civil claims totalling $1.1 billion against Italian energy group Eni and related to allegations of corruption in a oilfield deal, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

The West African country’s justice ministry will waive the claims before Italy’s highest court “unconditionally” and “with immediate effect” no later than Nov. 17, the report said citing a letter regarding the OPL 245 field and seen by the newswire.

Responding to a request for comment, an Eni spokesperson confirmed that the group had received the letter regarding OPL 245, and said it was pleased about the Nigerian government’s decision.

The energy group added it was ready to consider – together with the government of Nigeria – the necessary steps for achieving the conversion of the licence from prospecting into mining, to ensure development perspectives for the field.

In 2021 a Milan court acquitted Eni, its chief executive and Shell over an corruption case revolving around the acquisition of the Nigerian oilfield.

(Reporting by Jyoti Narayan in Bengaluru and Francesca Landini in Milan; Editing by Andrew Heavens and David Evans)