Shell Admits Responsibility for Two Devastating Oil Spills in Nigeria in 2008

Posted August 3rd, 2011 at 6:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Shell Oil has accepted responsibility for two devastating spills in Nigeria in 2008, which destroyed the livelihoods of nearly 70,000 people.

Lawyers representing the Bodo community of Nigeria's Ogoniland region sued Shell in a British court. They say oil company could pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

The attorneys say the Bodo depend on fishing for food and jobs. They say the oil took away their source of revenue and led to poverty.

Experts say it could cost more than $100 million dollars to clean up the oil and restore the environment. This would be on top of the millions of dollars in compensation to the local community.

Shell has not commented directly on the settlement, but has admitted that equipment failure led to the oil spills. Shell has blamed past oil spills in Nigeria on sabotage.

Shell stopped pumping oil in Ogoniland in the early 1990s after Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa led a campaign to drive out the oil giant — blaming Shell for destroying the environment. But Shell oil pipelines continue to run through the region.