Shell to pay $111 million over decades-old Nigerian oil spill

PUBLISHED: Thu, 12 Aug 2021 10:12:37 GMT
Libby George
Customers refuel their automobiles on the forecourt of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 150th gas station on its opening day in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. The global industry is scurrying to respond as oil below $50 a barrel guts cash flows. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

LAGOS, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Oil major Shell will pay a Nigerian community 45.9 billion naira ($111.68 million) to settle a case over an oil spill that took place more than 50 years ago, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The company will pay the Ejama-Ebubu community in Nigeria’s Ogoniland the “full and final settlement” to end the case over a spill that took place during the 1967-70 Biafran war.

Nigeria’s Supreme Court in November last year denied Shell’s bid to challenge a 2010 award of 17 billion naira ($41.36 million), that with accruing interest the community had said was worth more than 180 billion naira.

Read more: Shell says starts gas production at expanded Nigeria project

Shell has said it never got a chance to defend itself against the substance of the claims, and early this year initiated international arbitration against Nigeria over the case.

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, in a statement, said it maintained that the spills were caused by third parties during the war, and that it had fully remediated the sites in the Ebubu community.

The company, the most significant international oil major operating in Nigeria, has faced a string of court losses over the past year over oil spills and is in talks with the government to sell its stakes in onshore oilfields.

($1 = 411.0000 naira)

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