Friday, August 5, 2011

Ogonis Divided Over Shell Compensation

Radio Netherlands
5 August 2011

Lagos — Shell's admission of responsibility for two major oil spills in the Niger Delta region has provoked reactions ranging from jubilation to cynicism.

The Bodo fishing community had taken the Anglo-Dutch oil giant to court in the UK, claiming oil pollution has left the environment, and their livelihood, in ruins.

Previously Shell has always maintained that oil spills in the Niger Delta were largely caused by sabotage by crude oil thieves and pipeline vandals. However the company finally admitted that two devastating spills in 2008 and 2009 were a result of equipment failure.

This marks a turning point in the chequered relationship between oil companies and their host communities in Nigeria - and opens the way to a huge compensation settlement expected to be around 280 million euros.

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