So the Nigerian Government will compensate Nigerians

The Guardian rather glosses over something here:

Shell to pay $111m over decades-old oil spills in Nigeria
Company maintains oil spills in 1970 were caused by third parties during civil war

Well, no, not so much.

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to pay around €95m (£80.4m/$111.6m) to communities in southern Nigeria over crude oil spills in 1970, lawyers involved in the case have said.

The decision is the latest involving Opec-member Nigeria’s oil-producing south where communities have long fought legal battles over oil spills and environmental damage.

“The order for the payment of [$111m] to the claimants is for full and final satisfaction of the judgement,” a local spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria said on Wednesday.

It’s actually SPCD which is paying.

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is the largest fossil fuel company in Nigeria, which operates over 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) of pipelines and flowlines, 87 flowstations, 8 natural gas plants and more than 1,000 producing wells. SPDC’s role in the Shell Nigeria family is typically confined to the physical production and extraction of petroleum. It is an operator of the joint venture, which composed of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (55%), Shell (30%), Total S.A. (10%) and Eni (5%).

We’d normally say that it’s the NNPC paying that then, wouldn’t we?

But, you know, the baddies in Big Oil and governments are good….

5 thoughts on “So the Nigerian Government will compensate Nigerians”

  1. Much (nearly all) of the pollution is caused by illegal hot tapping of pipelines to steal the oil. Every so often they hit a gas line of a mix with VOC and the site goes kaboom. That’s Shell’s fault for not educating the thieves properly.

  2. I’m so old I know it as Royal Dutch/Shell – usually abbreviated Shell – rather than Royal Dutch Shell.

  3. Dear Mr Worstall

    Back in the day I recall reading in the newspapers that the main cause of pollution was sabotage of the oil pipelines by the locals so they could claim compensation for the resulting pollution.


  4. I’m puzzled here – maybe the reporting is incomplete. Why is a Dutch court hearing a case between Nigerian farmers and a majority-Nigerian oil company about events that happened in Nigeria? Why isn’t it a Nigerian court?

    The article explicitly says that Royal Dutch Shell is paying, but beside that article is a link to which says that Shell Nigeria was ordered to pay. Is the newer article wrong or is there some sort of indemnity agreement here?

    If Dutch court judgements are online, maybe someone can find it and tell us what it really says.

  5. Who’s betting that the Nigerian farmers see next to nothing of this dosh and any of the locals that complain about this fact gets accidentally shot while escaping from police custody?

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