Shell, le Nigeria et la corruption

Sous la pression des actionnaires et face aux enquêtes menées aux USA, en Grande-Bretagne et en Hollande pour avoir surestimé ses réserves de pétrole, Royal Dutch/Shell tente d'en faire porter la responsabilité au Nigeria.

Connus fin mars, des documents confidentiels de la compagnie laissent à penser que Shell n'a pas communiqué des informations vitales concernant le volume de la révision à la baisse de ses réserves au Nigeria, 1,5 milliards de barils (60% des réserves totales du pays) - ceci pour renforcer la position du Nigeria dans ses négociations avec l'OPEP afin d'augmenter son quota de production. Le Nigeria produit actuellement deux millions de barils/jour, or l'OPEP calcule le quota de chaque pays membre en fonction de ses réserves prouvées.

Le Nigeria, confronté à l'aggravation de la crise économique qu'il traverse, veut doubler sa production pour qu'elle atteigne quatre millions de barils/jour. Aussi, a-t-il pris compte la découverte de nouveaux gisements annoncés en décembre dernier par la compagnie nationale NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) en évaluant ses réserves à 3,4 milliards de barils. Pour les responsables politiques, l'importance de la population du Nigeria comparée aux autres pays de l'OPEP et le besoin urgent en devises étrangères pour financer des infrastructures et la politique sociale justifient un traitement préférentiel. Shell prétend ne pas vouloir mettre ces négociations en danger en rendant public la réalité des réserves du Nigeria.

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