Two Nigerian communities have filed suit against Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) for multiple oil spills in the Niger Delta seeking damages running into millions of pounds sterling. The law firm, which represented the claimants, pointed out the impact of these two, Ogale and Bille, communities who are dependent on fishing, as well as farming for their livelihood. The claimants also charged that since 1989 they could not even drink clean water due to oil spills due to the environmental damage caused by the oil spill.
Early Stage Of Reviewing The Claims
The lawyer said that the London High Court has issued the two fresh claims against Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd. Reacting to the latest development, the company indicated it was at an early stage of reviewing the claims. The oil firm said that the case should be in Nigeria as it believed that several spills in these areas were due to the oil theft that damaged pipelines, as well as, the illegal refining.
The company has another side to the story. For instance, it blamed the two areas for crude oil theft, sabotaging pipeline and for illegal refining. The oil firm was convinced that these were the primary sources of pollution in the Niger Delta. The company pointed out that in Ogaoniland, neither oil nor gas was produced since the year 1993. Also, the entry to the region was restricted after increasing violence, attacks on facilities and threats to its staff.
On Wednesday, a court hearing will take place in London to decide whether the plaintiffs could lodge a case against Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A)’s Nigerian unit. The claimants law firm said that the company failed to initiate a program of cleaning up and decontamination of the Ogale community.
In five years, it was the second lawsuit that the company has been facing in the region. Also, the two communities were known to have a history of tense relations during the extraction operation of oil in the Niger Delta areas. Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) was already ordered to pay a compensation of 55 million pounds sterling in January for pollution caused in 2008 and 2009.