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Nigeria’s Senate launches Brass LNG corruption investigation

Nigeria will hold an investigation into alleged corruption involving the state oil firm’s long-awaited Brass LNG project, including questions over the use of government funds.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) liquefied natural gas project has been stuck in the planning stages for more than a decade, with some Western partners having pulled out because of tough operating conditions and an unfavourable investment environment.

Nigeria’s Senate, the West African nation’s upper legislative house, voted on Wednesday to launch the investigation of Brass LNG and its banking records, the Senate motion document showed.

A spokesman for NNPC said the company has not received an invitation from the Senate regarding the investigation, declining to provide further comment.

The Brass LNG company was originally set up in 2003, with NNPC owning 49 percent and affiliates of Conoco Phillips , ENI and Chevron each holding 17 percent, according to the Senate motion, citing corporate records.

Since then, Chevron and Conoco Phillips have dropped out of the project.

In 2008 Total said that it had taken a stake in Brass LNG, without specifying the size.

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