Eni Chief Under Investigation By Prosecutors Over Nigerian Oil Deal

Reuters

MILAN, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Eni SpA chief Claudio Descalzi has been placed under investigation over alleged corruption relating to a big Nigerian oil deal, the company said on Thursday, just four months after he took the helm at the oil major, Italy's biggest listed company.

Milan prosecutors opened a probe earlier this year and have now widened the net to include Descalzi, in a case relating to a $1.09 billion acquisition of Nigeria's OPL-245 offshore oil block in 2011.

Eni confirmed Descalzi was being investigated after a report in Italian daily Corriere della Sera said he was being probed over the Nigeria deal.

"Eni is cooperating with the Milan prosecutor's office and is confident that the correctness of its actions will emerge during the course of the investigation," it said in a statement.

Descalzi could not immediately be reached for comment.

A long-standing executive at Eni and former head of its core exploration and production division, Descalzi took over in May from Paolo Scaroni, himself under investigation for alleged corruption in Algeria, although the company said in January it had found no evidence of illegal conduct by the group in relation to the north African country.

Eni said its Operations and Technology Officer Roberto Casula was also being probed. Court sources told Reuters on Thursday Scaroni was also under investigation in the Nigerian case. Scaroni and Casula could not immediately be reached for comment.


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