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壳牌陷入贿赂丑闻 尼日利亚之乱愈演愈恶劣  

2017-05-16 09:00:28|  分类: 典型事件 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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2017-05-16石油圈 作者 | Sergio Di Pasquale  编译 | 念奴姣

























































非洲第一大石油生产和出口大国尼日利亚的一起石油腐败案,

因一份录音的公布而浮上水面,尼日利亚之乱愈演愈烈。

 

作者 | Sergio Di Pasquale

编译 | 念奴姣

壳牌和意大利Eni集团陷入了13亿美元的贿赂丑闻,涉及尼日利亚的OPL 245的深水区块。

该区块预计产量为90亿桶,是非洲储量最丰富的的油气区块之一。

近来一通电话录音的曝光,又将此事推向风口浪尖。

目前,已经涉及三个国家石油公司。

 

一、事件的来龙去脉

1OPL 245的历史渊源

事情要追溯到1988年,当时尼日利亚军事独裁者Sani Abacha上将授予Malabu油气公司南部深水区块的石油勘探许可证,该公司由时任国家石油部长的Dan Etete控制。

但随着政权更迭,之后许可证被取消,然后授予壳牌,之后又再次授予Malabu

最后,2011年,壳牌和Eni向尼日利亚政府支付了13亿美元,得到了这个区块的勘探权。

 表面上看,一切都是合乎规程的,但是Dan Etete已经被控多项洗钱罪名,这又是为何?

 

210亿美元到底去了哪里?

据尼日利亚警方调查,尼日利亚政府在该区块交易所得的10亿美元转移给Malabu公司作收益分配。

其中一部分转给一些货币兑换商,将现金分给了尼日利亚政府的各级官员,包括当时总统Goodluck Jonathan,但根据法庭文件来看,总统拒绝了这样的不法行为。

这笔超过尼日利亚整体卫生健康预算的巨款后来落入了数名公司高管和尼日利亚政府官员手中。

 据称,意大利检方正在寻求对壳牌和Eni提起刑事诉讼,并称两家公司知道该笔资金会用来对当地官员行贿。

 

二、事件的三个当事公司如何表态?

1Malabu

Malabu声称是这个区块本来的拥有者,并要求法院停止壳牌和Eni对该区块的勘探开发。

2011年,虽然Malabu通过尼日利亚政府向壳牌和Eni出售区块,但Malabu大股东表示,这是由Etete代表Malabu完成的,直接收取了收购资金,他并没有资格这样做。

 

2、壳牌

壳牌表示并不知道这笔款项最终会用来行贿。

壳牌在2014年和2015年连续两年发表声明称“Eni和壳牌都没有向Malabu支付任何回扣

 但随着最近的一段录音浮出水面,录音显示壳牌高管了解在石油交易过程中,支付给尼日利亚政府的资金被用于洗钱的内幕和行贿行为,并非此前宣称的不知情。

 不过,壳牌仍然坚持2011年的收购是完全合法的,如何分配石油勘探许可证费用是尼日利亚政府自己的问题,壳牌及公司员工没有采取任何不当行为。

 

3Eni

Eni也不承认有任何不法行为。

2月份,该公司表示,没有任何直接的证据显示Eni及公司员工参与了此次腐败行为。

 意大利法庭正着手处理该案件,判决最快也要到六月份。

3月份,尼日利亚的反腐机构也对壳牌和Eni提起新的诉讼,指控他们行贿。

此外,荷兰检察机构也会介入此事。

 

三、这对壳牌将会有何影响?

在油价为50美元/桶时,OPL 245区块90亿桶潜在储量价值为4500亿美元。

尼日利亚政府能够从中获益,壳牌也将会获得更大的收益。

如果被判有罪,将会面临罚款,也可能失去该区块的勘探开发权,相关人员可能会被判入狱,这对企业声誉会有很大的损害。

 

同时,壳牌已经投入数百亿美元至当地的发展中,以期在当地树立良好的企业形象。

壳牌在去年的年度报告中指出,违反反贿赂法或者反对洗钱相关法律,会严重损害企业声誉,对企业的营利、现金流和财务状况都将产生非常大的不利影响。

 

四、尼日利亚市场对壳牌有多重要?

60年前,壳牌首次从尼日利亚进口原油,之后因为武装袭击被迫关停了一些业务,后来一直租赁或收购该国的区块。

壳牌是最早在尼日利亚进行石油勘探与开发的跨国石油公司之一,在尼日利亚的业务范围涵盖了其石油工业的上中游。

目前,壳牌仍是尼日利亚最大的石油合作公司之一,壳牌最大的LNG项目位于尼日利亚,当地的天然气产量能满足该项目的天然气供应。

除了腐败案,尼日利亚深受反政府武装之害,这给其石油行业发展带来了很大的威胁。

 

五、尼日利亚政府力挺深水项目继续推行

2017休斯顿OTC会议上,尼日利亚国家石油部部长Ibe Kachikwu进行相关报告,虽然OPL 245区块存在争议,但深水项目仍将继续推进

 尼日利亚政府已经投资数十亿美元,应该把项目与查清腐败真相区分开来。

目前,政府在做两件事情:首先,确保区块继续运营,吸引更多的国际投资,促进本国经济发展;其次,找回那10亿美元,那是属于政府和人民的。

 

六、如何明确石油行业的腐败问题

明确能源行业相关透明措施法案能有效杜绝腐败,没有明确的法律规定,能源公司可能会开始进行幕后交易,这样的悲剧希望永远不再重演。

 石油等自然资源是属于国家的,国家资产的转移对国家危害非常大,这会阻碍经济增长,影响人民尤其是最底层人民的利益,他们本该从石油勘探开发中获得更好的福利和待遇。

 任何形式的腐败对社会都是有害的。

参与其中不仅让自己、公司和国家失望,也会使很多人因为缺少药物治疗或必需的食物而死亡,更不用说会导致其他领域公共基础服务和设施的不足。

 致力于提高全球穷人生活水平的联合国及其他组织正在努力,使越来越多的国家领导人相信领导人或者大的企业腐败给国家和人民将带来非常大的损失。

 油气行业的繁荣发展,必将会带来很大的利益,但也容易滋生腐败。

在低油价新常态下,形成战略联盟,意味着将会有越来越多的国际石油合作与贸易,这种形势下,明确界定石油行业腐败问题,加强大型石油贸易的公开与透明化制度建设刻不容缓

 

英文原文:

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA have become entangled in a $1.1 billion bribery scandal involving a field in Nigeria that could potentially hold enough crude to meet three months of the world’s demand. At least three countries are probing the companies, and Italian prosecutors have named Eni’s Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi and Shell’s former head of exploration and production, Malcolm Brinded, among people who could be prosecuted. Nigeria’s anti-graft agency also filed charges against the companies in March. 1. How did this begin? In 1998, Nigeria’s military dictator Sani Abacha awarded Oil Prospecting License 245 in deep waters off Nigeria’s southern coast to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd., a Lagos-based company connected to then-Petroleum Minister Dan Etete. Under successive governments, the license was canceled, awarded to Shell, and then awarded to Malabu again. Finally, in 2011, Shell and Eni paid the government $1.3 billion, including about $200 million as a signature bonus — a onetime fee charged by some oil-producing nations — to nail down the contract once and for all. 2. Was that improper? Not on the face of it. The problem arose, according to prosecutors, when it became clear that most of the money paid by Shell and Eni had been passed on, rather than kept, by Nigeria’s government. 3. Where did the money go? Prosecutors in Milan allege that Shell and Eni paid almost $1.1 billion — everything but the $200 million “signature bonus” — into an escrow account for the Nigerian government, from which about $800 million was later transferred to the Nigerian accounts of Malabu to be distributed as payoffs. Almost half a billion dollars was transferred to money changers around the Nigerian capital to convert into cash to be divvied up among officials, including then-President Goodluck Jonathan (who has denied wrongdoing), according to the court papers. They include more than $50 million withdrawn by a single local businessman and another $50 million in cash delivered to the Nigerian home of Eni executive, Roberto Casula, the prosecutors allege. 4. What does Shell say? For years Shell maintained it hadn’t known that any of the money would go to Malabu. In April it made an about-turn, conceding it had known that Nigeria “would compensate Malabu to settle its claim on the block” and that “the only way to resolve the impasse through a negotiated settlement was to engage with Etete and Malabu, whether we liked it or not.” The admission followed the publication by Buzzfeed and Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore of leaked internal emails showing Shell staff discussing the risk that the money could ultimately be used for payoffs. Still, Shell maintains its 2011 purchase was “fully legal”; its legal director Donny Ching said the company believes there was “no inappropriate conduct by any Shell company or its staff.” 5. And Eni? Eni too denies any wrongdoing. The company said in February that an independent investigation found no credible evidence of the involvement of Eni staff in corrupt activities. 6. Which executives might face charges? Italian prosecutors are targeting 11 people. They include five Eni executives, among them Descalzi and Paolo Scaroni, the former Eni CEO who is now vice chairman of NM Rothschild & Sons. Four Shell employees including Brinded, Nigerian officials including Etete, and various others who acted as intermediaries are also identified in the court papers. Eni shareholders re-elected Descalzi as CEO in April. Scaroni didn’t immediately return a call to his mobile phone, and Brinded didn’t return a call to his office. Etete’s lawyer, Antonio Secci, said by phone: “We believe Malabu’s business is lawful and transparent.” 7. What’s the status of the investigations? Judge Giuseppina Barbara in Milan is hearing arguments to decide whether the case against Eni, Shell, Descalzi and 10 others should go ahead, with a final decision due as soon as June. Prosecutors are bringing separate proceedings against Shell employees including two former members of British intelligence who acted as advisers and Brinded, now chairman of the Shell Foundation, its charitable arm, according to the Milan court papers. In March, Nigeria’s anti-graft agency filed new charges against Shell and Eni alleging they “corruptly” paid the $800 million, according to court papers. Officials from the Dutch Financial Intelligence & Investigation Service and public prosecutor have also been investigating the matter, visiting Shell offices in The Hague last year. 8. What’s at stake? The 9 billion barrels of potential resources in OPL 245 could be worth $450 billion at a $50-a-barrel oil price. Though some of that will go to the Nigerian government, the companies still stand to make a lot of money. If found guilty, they face fines and revocation of licenses to do business. Descalzi, Brinded and others could go to prison. There’s also the damage to the corporate reputations. The Shell Foundation has poured millions into local development to project an image of a good corporate citizen acting responsibly in the developing countries where it does business. Violation of “anti-bribery and corruption legislation or anti-money laundering legislation could harm our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our earnings, cash flows and, financial condition,” Shell said in its last annual report. 9. How important is Nigeria to Shell? Shell, which first exported crude from Nigeria almost 60 years ago, has been selling its leases in the country after militant attacks forced it to shut some operations. Still, Shell remains Nigeria’s biggest producer, and it gets about 7 percent of its global output from the country, according to the annual report. Its biggest liquefied natural gas project is in Nigeria and is fed by gas from its fields in the area.

版权声明:稿件为石油圈(www.oilsns.com)原创编译,未经许可不得转载,否则将追究法律责任。

 

 

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