Italian court postpones OPL 245 trial involving Shell, Eni

Italian court postpones OPL 245 trial involving Shell, Eni

A new court designated to conduct a criminal trial against Shell, Eni and other parties in OPL 245 bribery scandal has postponed the trial.

The Italian court said it has postponed to May 14 the start of a trial of Royal Dutch Shell and Eni executives over alleged corruption in Nigeria.

The decision confirms what three sources had told Reuters on Friday. The trial was originally expected to start on Monday.

The case involves the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield – one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks – for about $1.3 billion.

Milan prosecutors allege bribes were paid to win the license to explore the field, which has never entered into production.

All the accused have denied any wrongdoing.

A Milan judge ruled in December that the companies, along with present and past executives, would face trial.