JP Morgan wins $1.7 billion Nigeria oil trial in Britain By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the outside of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. company headquarters in New York Metropolis Could 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Picture

LONDON (Reuters) -JP Morgan Chase has gained a $1.7 billion London Excessive Court docket battle in opposition to Nigeria over its position in a disputed 2011 oilfield deal.

The civil case, which was heard earlier this 12 months, pertains to the acquisition by Shell (LON:) and Eni of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria.

Nigeria had alleged JP Morgan was “grossly negligent” in its choice to switch funds paid by the vitality majors into an escrow account to an organization intently related to the nation’s former oil minister Dan Etete, as per directions the financial institution acquired from authorised authorities officers.

Based on Nigeria, the transactions put JP Morgan in breach of its Quincecare responsibility, which obliges banks to ignore a buyer’s directions if following these directions would possibly truly facilitate a fraud in opposition to that buyer.

However a London Excessive Court docket decide stated no such breach happened in a ruling printed on Tuesday.

“This judgment displays our dedication to performing with excessive skilled requirements in each nation we function in, and how we’re ready to robustly defend our actions and repute when they’re known as into query,” a spokesman for the financial institution stated in an emailed assertion.

The damages sought embody money despatched to Etete’s firm Malabu Oil and Gasoline, round $875 million paid in three instalments in 2011 and 2013, plus curiosity, taking the overall to over $1.7 billion.

Nigerian navy ruler Sani Abacha had awarded the offshore oilfield licence, OPL 245, to an organization Etete owned in 1998. Subsequent Nigerian administrations had challenged Etete’s rights to the sector over a few years till a deal to resolve the deadlock through a sale to Shell and Eni was struck in 2011.

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