Following is a press release from Global Witness:
Shell‘s role in a billion dollar corruption scandal in Nigeria poses significant hidden risks for investors, Global Witness said at the company’s 2015 AGM. The warning comes as the oil major is lobbying the UK and US authorities to undermine the implementation of new transparency laws which would consign such secretive deals to history.
The corruption at the heart of the deal deprived the Nigerian state of over U.S. $1.1 billion, triggered investigations by authorities in three countries, and could potentially lead to Shell and its Italian partner Eni losing access to the oil block.
The timing of the report’s publication – a call for increased transparency across the oil and gas industry – could not be better. At this moment, the oil industry is putting heavy pressure on the United States S.E.C. to weaken the parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform that require S.E.C. listed corporations to disclose their payments to foreign governments.
Anti-corruption campaigner, Global Witness, has released the results of a months’ long investigation into the shadowy China Sonangol syndicate. The Economist ran an in-depth feature article on August 12th based, in part, on the Global Witness investigation. China Sonangol, known also as The China International Fund or the “Queensway Syndicate” is a corporate partnership that started trading oil in Angola and now operates in oil markets around the world. The Economist article is a must-read for anyone interested in oil and the so-called “resource curse.” The Global Witness report provides more information, as well as proposals for curtailing this type of illicit trading.