Shell offers £30 million compensation to Niger Delta community

Royal Dutch Shell has offered to pay £30 million as compensation for two oil spills in Nigeria in 2008. About 15,000 residents of Bodo, in Nigeria’s Niger Delta had sued the oil giant for £300 million as compensation for the damages, after claiming that the spill resulted in leakage of more than 500, 000 barrels of oil. Shell however denied this, insisting that only about 4, 000 barrels were spilled.

In a preliminary hearing ahead of a trial which will take place in May 2015, a London high court ruled that Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary could be liable if it were proven that it did not take reasonable steps to protect and maintain the pipeline from thefts that have plagued the key African oil producer.

Shell has urged the community to accept the offer, but the lawyer to the community, Leigh Day on Friday rejected the Company’s latest proposition.

Oil spills are common in Nigeria’s Niger Delta and Oil companies have been blamed for not maintaining their aged pipelines and not cleaning up when the spill occurs. The incidence of pipeline vandalism by oil smugglers for local refining and export has also escalated over the years, resulting in extensive damage to riverine communities in the Delta.

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