Italian state-owned energy giant Eni has reached agreement with the Public Prosecutor whereby it will make a consideration of 11.8 million euros (US$14.05 million) as “an agreed sanction” relating to some of its upstream operations in Congo - for which the company had originally faced corruption charges.

Eni on Thursday said it was pleased to note these allegations of international corruption had "ceased to exist" - the Court of Milan having reduced these Congo graft allegations involving Eni and one of its managers to a charge of undue inducement.

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Eni stressed that its agreement with the Public Prosecutor “does not represent an admission of guilt” by the company in relation to the alleged offence, but is “an initiative aimed at avoiding the continuation a judicial process that would entail further expenditure of resources from Eni and all the involved parties”.

The Italian operator added the court's verdict also confirmed the resilience of the company's anti-bribery control systems.

Historic probe

Upstream earlier reported Eni had been probed by the Milan Public Prosecutor and Italian Finance Police over agreements between 2013 and 2013 with Congo-Brazzaville’s Ministry of Hydrocarbons.

“Corruption is endemic and enduring in Congo, which is Sub-Saharan Africa’s third biggest oil producer yet one of the most unequal societies in the world,” human rights group Global Witness has said.

The same Court of Milan earlier this week cleared Eni, Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell and senior company officials of both companies of wrongdoing in their $1.3 billion acquisition of a block offshore Nigeria.

It had been alleged that $1.1 billion of the total amount was used as bribes and kickbacks including to Nigerian government officials and middlemen.

“After almost three years of trial, the judgment by the Court has finally established that the company, the chief executive Claudio Descalzi and the management involved in the proceedings have all behaved in a lawful and correct manner,” Eni said of this court ruling.