Energy giant Shell liable for Nigeria oil spill, Dutch court rules

Campaigners unfurled a banner outside the court in The Hague on Friday
Campaigners unfurled a banner outside the court in The Hague on Friday Copyright Mike Corder/AP
Copyright Mike Corder/AP
By Michael Daventry
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Environmental groups hail appeals court ruling ordering Shell's Nigerian subsidiary to compensate farmers whose land was polluted


A Dutch court has ordered Shell’s local subsidiary in Nigeria to compensate four farmers whose land was damaged by oil leaks in 2004 and 2005.

The appeals court in The Hague said Shell Nigeria was responsible for multiple cases of oil pollution in the long-running case, a test of how far Netherlands-based multinational companies are accountable for their actions overseas.

The court also ruled Royal Dutch Shell, the parent company, was not liable in the case but must do more to install leak detection systems in its pipes.

Friday’s decision can be appealed to the Dutch Supreme Court.

“Tears of joy here. After 13 years, we've won,” Friends of the Earth's Dutch branch tweeted after the verdict was announced.

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