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6 Feb 2024

Emmanuel Agbo, Premium Times (Nigeria)

Nigeria: Communities demand Shell to pay compensation awarded for the Bonga oil spill before leaving the country

" Bonga Oil Spill: Niger Delta communities protest in Abuja over $3.6bn Shell award" 6 February 2024

Some Nigerians from Niger Delta on Monday called on President Bola Tinubu to compel Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) to pay $3.6 billion awarded to them as compensation for the 2011 Bonga oil spill. The group staged a protest at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja, demanding the enforcement of the award.

The protesters led by Federal Johnson implored the government to intervene and ensure Shell was made to fulfil financial obligations before leaving the country. The Bonga oil spill occurred on 20 December 2011, during Shell’s exploration activities in OML 118, located 120 kilometres off Nigeria’s coast in the Gulf of Guinea. The rupture of Shell’s export line connected to the Float Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel led to the release of approximately 40,000 barrels (6.4 million litres) of crude oil into the sea, as reported by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

Over communities across Niger Delta states, particularly, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Delta were said to be affected by the oil spill. In response to the spill, NOSDRA imposed a $1.8 billion compensation for environmental damages and loss of income on affected communities, and another $1.8 million as a punitive penalty. The liability totalled $3.6 billion.