The Truth About The Great Oil Heist Of 2011

Few things drive corporate greed with more acceleration than oil and money. The Great Oil Heist of 2011 involves both. In what One lists as one of the most epic heists in history, oil giants Shell and Eni reportedly entangled themselves in a global $11 billion scam. The heist involves bribery, money laundering, large-scale corporate and government corruption, and the near bankruptcy of an entire African country.

In that respect, you'd think it would garner just a bit more attention than it actually has. In a rather dismal 2020 post, sustainable social justice corporation Global Witness reported that only a few hundred people attended their virtual event covering this alleged multibillion-dollar act of theft and unscrupulous bureaucracy. If anything, this serves as a great example of how, when corporate and government powers are involved, major, Earth-altering events can slip right through the cracks. As it stands, an investigation into the scandal, which is officially referred to as OPL 245, is ongoing.

Shell and Eni stand accused of stealing $6 billion from the people of Nigeria

This is a devastating blow when you consider the conditions of poverty Nigeria is already experiencing. Recently named by Borgen Magazine as the "Poverty Capital of the World," this destitute region now stands to lose approximately $6 billion more in revenue as a result of the heist (via Global Witness). Where will all that money go? You might have guessed it... Europe's big oil conglomerates.

How did they offset this course of corruption? In brief, they purportedly set up a drilling deal through a convicted money launderer and proceeded in an embezzlement process of epic proportions, per Global Witness. Shell representatives maintain that the deal was legal, calling it a "settlement." Reportedly, leaked emails revealed a startling truth — the money allegedly wound up lining the private pockets of European oil rig aficionados. In a chain of events perpetuated by greed, big oil then allegedly spent millions paying off Nigerian politicians who purportedly stood to gain big by bankrupting their own people. With 5 million Nigerians living on the brink of starvation, it appears that even their president was involved in the scam, purportedly pocketing profits and purchasing luxury items.

Reports suggest the amount of money stolen equates to double Nigeria's annual economy. To put things into perspective, it would have been enough to pay the salaries of 6 million teachers. Justice remains a top priority as investigative forces proceed.