Shell to Pay $15.9M Settlement for Nigeria Oil Spills

    Shell to Pay $15.9M Settlement for Nigeria Oil Spills
    Last updated Dec 23, 2022
    Image credit: aljazeera


    • Shell announced on Friday that it will pay 15M euros ($15.9M) to Nigerian communities that were affected by multiple oil pipeline leaks in the Niger Delta.[1]
    • The settlement results from a Dutch court case brought by the environmental group Friends of the Earth last year. The court claimed that Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary, SPDC, was responsible for oil spills and had to pay farmers for the damages.[2]
    • Shell and Friends of the Earth agreed on the sum after negotiations, but according to a joint statement, the settlement payment is given based on "no admission of liability."[3]
    • Originally, the case was brought in 2008, and the spills occurred between 2004 and 2007. The money will benefit the Nigerian communities of Oruma, Goi, and Ikot Ada Udo.[2]
    • The deal also ensures installing a leak detection system on 20 pipeline segments — that work has been completed.[4]
    • Shell maintains that the spills were the result of sabotage and has provided assurances that the site is now clean.[5]


    Establishment-critical narrative

    Oil spills have had devastating consequences for Nigerian communities, and Shell is responsible for most of them. For decades Shell’s negligence has disrupted people’s livelihoods and brought about irreparable environmental damage. This is not the first time Shell has had to pay a fine or settlement, and most likely, not the last.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Shell and other oil companies are putting in the work to invest in Nigeria and its communities. Shell is committed to Nigeria’s development and is working to build major upstream projects and improve the current infrastructure already in Nigeria in a safe and sustainable way.

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