(Adds Shell declining comment, paragraph 4)
ABUJA Dec 13 Nigeria's lower house opened an
investigation on Tuesday into an offshore oil field owned by
Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, the latest inquiry
into their acquisition of the OPL 245 licence block which could
hold up to 9.23 billion barrels of oil, according to industry
Earlier this year the Dutch and Italian authorities launched
their own investigations.
The acquisition in 2011 was a "breach of due process that
resulted in monumental revenue loss to the country," said Yakubu
Dogara, speaker of Nigeria's House of Representatives.
A spokesman for Shell said: "As this matter is the subject
of current investigations, it would be inappropriate for us to
The licence was initially awarded in 1998 by former Nigerian
oil minister Dan Etete to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company in which
he was a shareholder.
It was then sold for $1.3 billion in 2011 to Eni and Shell.
According to documents from a British court, Malabu received
$1.09 billion from the sale, while the rest went to the Nigerian
In 2014 a Milan court placed Eni under investigation over
the purchase and the probe was later widened to Shell.
(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing
by Greg Mahlich/Ruth Pitchford)