Home Tags Posts tagged with "oil spill"

oil spill


Shell is being sued in London for the second time in five years over spills in the Niger Delta.

Two communities are claiming compensation and want the oil giant to clean up their land.

Shell said it is at an “early stage” in reviewing the claims and that the case should be heard in Nigeria.

The Ogale community of about 40,000 people in Rivers State, on the coast of Nigeria, who are mainly farmers or fishermen, are some of the claimants.

Spills since 1989 have meant they don’t have clean drinking water, farmland or rivers, their claim says.

It points to a November 2015 report by Amnesty International which says four spill sites Shell says it planned to clean up are still contaminated.

The first court hearing at the Technology and Construction Court, held on March 2, found that the claimants can lodge a case against Shell’s Nigerian business, known as Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). Shell declined to comment on the ruling.Shell Nigeria oil spill

Amnesty International’s findings followed a 2011 report by United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) which found water contaminated with oil by-products including benzene, thought to be a carcinogen. It suggested a cleanup, but said a “sustainable recovery” of the area could take up to 30 years.

Shell says it has agreed a clean-up plan.

“In mid-2015 SPDC JV, along with the government, UNEP and representatives of the Ogoni community, agreed to an 18-month roadmap to fast-track the environmental clean-up and remediation of Ogoniland which includes a governance framework,” the company said in a statement.

The Bille community, who are mainly fishermen and are the other party to sue, claims Shell should be liable for “failing to protect their pipelines from damage caused by third parties”, according to law firm Leigh Day.

Pipelines in the area have been targets for thieves who steal crude oil and try to refine it locally. This has lead to more spills and damage though explosions.

In January 2015, Shell agreed to an $84 million settlement with residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta for two oil spills.

The same law firm, Leigh Day, said their 15,600 clients would receive $3,300 each for losses caused by the spills.

The remaining $30 million would be left for the community, which Leigh Day said was “devastated by the two massive oil spills in 2008 and 2009”.

That dispute began in 2011.

Nigeria’s oil regulator has asked industry giant Shell to pay $5 billion for the Bonga oil spill from last December.

The disclosure was made during a parliamentary hearing on the matter.

A leak at the Bonga field during a transfer of oil to a tanker led to 40,000 barrels spilling into the Atlantic Ocean.

A Shell spokesperson said there was no need for a fine as everything had been done to prevent environmental damage.

Nigeria's oil regulator has asked industry giant Shell to pay $5 billion for the Bonga oil spill

Nigeria's oil regulator has asked industry giant Shell to pay $5 billion for the Bonga oil spill

The Bonga field, operated by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO), is approximately 120 km (75 miles) offshore and produces 10% of Nigeria’s oil exports.

The spill was contained before it reached the shore.

The head of Nigeria’s National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency urged MPs on the House of Representatives’s environment committee to approve his proposal.

“Although adequate containment measures were put in place to combat the Bonga oil spill, it however posed a serious environmental threat to the offshore environments,” Peter Idabor said.

“The people could not fish after a long period after the spill,” he said.

“So that’s why we are looking at the damages. If the people said they will not pay, so be it. But we want to make it very clear that it’s wrong for them to say they cannot pay. Are they denying that they spilled 40,000 barrels of crude oil into the waters?” he asked.

But Shell said it believed there no “basis in law for such a fine”.

“SNEPCO responded to this incident with professionalism and acted with the consent of the necessary authorities at all times to prevent environmental impact as a result of the incident,” a spokesperson for the Anglo-Dutch company said in a statement.

Most previous oil spills in Nigeria – one of the world’s biggest oil producers – have been onshore. Many have been caused by sabotage or militant attacks.

Last year, a UN report into spills in Ogoniland found that the region could take 30 years to recover.

In March, lawyers representing a fishing community in Ogoniland began a case against Shell in a London court over recent oil spills.