Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shell’s Nigeria pay-out could top £250m

Financial Times
3 August 2011

A Shell pipeline in Nigeria. The company recorded 32 operational spills in the Niger Delta, down from 37 in 2009

Royal Dutch Shell faces having to pay compensation of potentially more than £250m ($410m) after the Anglo-Dutch oil group admitted liability for two spills in Nigeria following a legal claim brought in the UK.

The agreement comes after a class-action lawsuit was brought in the High Court by the Bodo Community in the Niger Delta against Shell and its subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

Martyn Day, of law firm Leigh Day acting for the Nigerians, said that he was pleased Shell had admitted liability and agreed to concede to the English jurisdiction and court system.

The compensation set to be paid to the 69,000 Nigerians affected by damage caused by the leaks is thought to be in excess of £250m. Most of those who have brought claims are fishermen and typically earn about £3,000 to £5,000 a year on average.

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