Shell says it didn’t lie to court about oil spill in Niger Delta

Sells off more of its Nigerian operations

Published: Monday 24 November 2014


Royal Dutch Shell has denied that it lied to a Dutch court in The Hague about oil pollution in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta and said that the damage is from sabotage.

The legal action was brought to The Hague in 2012 by environmental group Friends of the Earth Netherlands and four Nigerian farmers to hold the company, headquartered in The Hague, liable for damages from the oil spillage in 2004. In a statement, Friends of the Earth Netherlands reported that Shell continued to pump oil through a corroded pipeline. The leaking oil caught on fire and burned for several days in Goi, destroying several hectares of mangrove forests and the livelihoods of the residents of the fishing village.

The multinational company, half owned by Nigerian government and with significant Dutch shareholding, however, dismissed any suggestion that it knowingly continued to use the corroded pipeline, which caused the spills. Shell is now preparing for the appeal hearing.

In the meanwhile, Shell has sold its stake in a set of oil wells and processing plants in the delta. The company said it has sold 30 per cent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 24 to Newcross Exploration and Production Ltd, a Nigerian-owned company, for US $600 million. French partner Total and Italy’s Eni also sold smaller stakes, 10 per cent and 5 per cent, in OML 24 to Newcross. The Nigerian company now owns 45 per cent of OML 24, which, according to Shell, produced about 13,000 barrels of oil and equivalent volumes of natural gas a day during the first half of this year.

Particulars of claims in the case between The Bodo Community, Gokana Local Government Area, Rivers State, Nigeria Vs The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd

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