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Shell to pay $111 million over decades-old Nigerian oil spill

Shell to pay $111 million over decades-old Nigerian oil spill
Shell to pay $111 million over decades-old Nigerian oil spill   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

LAGOS – Oil major Shell will pay a Nigerian community 45.9 billion naira ($111.68 million) to settle a case over an oil spill that took place more than 50 years ago, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The company will pay the Ejama-Ebubu community in Nigeria’s Ogoniland the “full and final settlement” to end the case over a spill that took place during the 1967-70 Biafran war.

Nigeria’s Supreme Court in November last year denied Shell’s bid to challenge a 2010 award of 17 billion naira ($41.36 million), that with accruing interest the community had said was worth more than 180 billion naira.

Shell has said it never got a chance to defend itself against the substance of the claims, and early this year initiated international arbitration against Nigeria over the case.

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, in a statement, said it maintained that the spills were caused by third parties during the war, and that it had fully remediated the sites in the Ebubu community.

The company, the most significant international oil major operating in Nigeria, has faced a string of court losses over the past year over oil spills and is in talks with the government to sell its stakes in onshore oilfields.

($1 = 411.0000 naira)