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Eni denies charges of corruption in Congo Republic, cooperates with probe


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MILAN, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Italian oil and gas company Eni on Monday denied allegations that it was involved in corruption in the Republic of Congo and said it was cooperating with Italian prosecutors.

State-controlled Eni said in its half yearly report that the Italian finance police had told it in July it was being investigated by Milan prosecutors for international corruption.

The accusations related to agreements signed by Eni’s Congo subsidiary with the Congo Republic’s Ministry of Hydrocarbons in 2013 to 2015 covering exploration and production permits and the choice of partners in the African country, Eni said.

Human rights watchdog Global Witness said the allegations should concern Eni investors.

“We raised serious questions about Eni’s deals and connections to Congolese public officials in a report we wrote in 2015,” said Barnaby Pace, a campaigner at Global Witness.

Eni, the biggest foreign oil and gas producer in Africa, has worked in the Congo Republic since 1968.

Last year, it produced 98,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in the Congo Republic. It produced a total of 976,000 boed from the whole of Africa.