Royal Dutch Shell has said the corruption trial over a Nigerian oil deal may last several months, warning staff of continued critical media coverage in the $1.3 billion case.

An internal memo indicates that Shell’s Legal Director, Donny Ching, encouraged employees to study an internal web page that the Anglo-Dutch oil giant had set up for the case before responding to questions from relatives and friends.

Shell and its Italian peer, Eni are defendants in a Milan bribery trial, now in its early stages, focusing on the 2011 purchase of Nigeria’s $1.3 billion OPL 245 offshore oilfield.

Eni’s Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Descalzi, four former Shell managers and a former Shell Foundation Chairman, Malcolm Brinded, are also on trial in one of the largest cases in the history of the oil and gas industry.

All the accused have denied wrongdoing. Milan prosecutors allege bribes were paid to win the licence to explore the field, which has never entered into production due to disputes.

Source: The Guardian