Daily Archives: September 28, 2012

Anglo-Dutch Shell and the Oil Spills in Nigeria, litigation

A European company, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell will appear in a Dutch court to account for damage it caused abroad, Friends of the Earth International announced today.  The court case against Shell’s oil spills in Nigeria has been filed by four Nigerian plaintiffs in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands and supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria.  Lawyers for both parties will plea at a key hearing in The Hague on 11 October at 9:30am.  The verdict is expected early in 2013.  “This court case will have groundbreaking legal repercussions for multinational corporations globally, and especially for European corporations,” says Geert Ritsema, globalisation campaign leader at Friends of the Earth Netherlands / Milieudefensie.  “Due to the poor maintenance of pipelines and factories, Shell let tens of millions of barrels of oil leak in the Niger Delta, with disastrous consequences for local people and the environment. The Anglo Dutch oil giant must now stop its pollution, compensate the damage and prevent more oil spills from happening,” he adds.

In May 2008, four Nigerian fishermen and farmers from the villages of Goi, Ikot Ada Udo and Oruma, in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands / Milieudefensie and supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria / ERA, started a legal case against Shell Nigeria and its parent company in the Netherlands.

The Hague court hearing will take place just 10 days after a key [October 1st] hearing of the U.S. Supreme court regarding a separate lawsuit ‘Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum‘ brought by Nigerian refugees in the U.S. accusing Shell of helping the Nigerian military to systematically torture and kill environmentalists in the 1990s….(see pdf of District Court ruling) (see also pdf of 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals)

Shell is the operator of Nigeria’s largest oil fields and bears significant responsibility for the oil pollution. The UN, among others, has stated that Shell does not comply with legal environmental standards and has failed to clean up leaked oil – or has done so only insufficiently, for decades….

Nigeria: Key Hearing in Court Case On Oil Giant Shell’s Nigerian Oil Pollution, AllAfrica.com, Sept. 26, 2012

See also Shell in Nigeria

Supreme Court case is Esther Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, No. 10-1491

UN Report 50 years of oil pollution in Nigeria