SEC drops inquiry into Shell’s OPL 245 deal, company says

Gas flares burn from pipes at an oil flow station operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Co. Ltd. (NAOC), a division of Eni SpA, in Idu, Rivers State, Nigeria, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. Nigeria's daily output of about 2 million barrels of oil makes it Africa's largest producer. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

Lagos, April 23 – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has dropped its inquiry into Royal Dutch Shell’s 2011 acquisition of an offshore oil block in Nigeria, the Anglo-Dutch company said on Thursday.

“The SEC has notified us that it has closed its inquiry into Shell in relation to OPL 245,” a Shell spokeswoman said.

On Wednesday, Italy’s Eni, which acquired the OPL 245 block together with Shell, said the SEC had also closed its investigation into its activity in Nigeria, as well as other activities in Congo.

Eni and Shell are currently on trial in Italy over allegations they bought OPL 245 in 2011 knowing most of the $1.3 billion price would go to agents and middlemen in bribes

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