Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI) has temporarily halted arbitration regarding an oilfield dispute with the Nigerian government, buying time to discuss a conversion of the licence from prospecting to mining, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Eni confirmed the suspension of the arbitration regarding the OPL 245 oilfield at the World Bank’s dispute settlement body.
“Eni … has agreed with the Federal Government of Nigeria to mutually and temporarily suspend the arbitration proceedings in order to discuss with the government the necessary steps for achieving the conversion of the licence from prospecting into mining (extraction),” an Eni spokesperson told Reuters.
The move comes days after Nigeria withdrew civil claims totalling $1.1 billion against Eni related to allegations of corruption in OPL 245 deal.
Quoting Bloomberg News, Reuters reported ealier that Nigeria is withdrawing civil claims totalling $1.1 billion against Italian energy gian and related to allegations of corruption in a oilfield deal.
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.