Court documents show Shell warned about “risk and hazard” of pipeline before oil spill that affected livelihoods of Bodo community in Nigeria; includes company comments

A man holds a shell coated in oil in Ogoniland in Nigeria delta region Credit Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

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17 November 2014

Shell Lied to Dutch Court About Oil Spills in Nigeria, Say Friends of the Earth

Author: Amelia Smith, Newsweek

The oil company Shell lied to a Dutch court about steps taken to minimize the risk of oil spills during a court case brought against the…company by four Nigerian farmers and Friends of the Earth, lawyers acting for the claimants alleged today…During the case,…Shell’s lawyer said that the oil company had taken precautionary steps to avoid oil spills…, including the installation of a leak detection system… However, according to lawyers representing the farmers, documents revealed in the UK’s High Court this year have shown that there was in fact no leak detection system in place and [Shell] had consistently ignored calls from its own staff to replace the pipeline…A spokesman for the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) said: “We strongly refute any suggestion that SPDC has knowingly submitted false or misleading information to the Dutch court…”

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Author: AFP

« Nigeria: Shell admet une pollution pétrolière en 2008 plus importante que prévu », 13 novembre 2014

Le géant pétrolier anglo-néerlandais Shell a admis jeudi que la pollution causée par deux fuites de pétrole en 2008 au Nigeria avait été plus importante que prévu, mais sans donner de nouveaux chiffres…Cet aveu fait suite à des informations d'Amnesty International qui dit s'être procuré des documents de justice dans lesquels Shell accepte l'idée d'avoir sous-évalué l'ampleur et l'impact de la pollution dans le delta du Niger. Un procès doit se tenir en mai 2015 devant la Haute Cour de Londres après une action en justice intentée au Royaume-Uni par 15.000 habitants de la communauté de Bodo, au sud du Nigeria, qui réclament des indemnisations à Shell…[car la pollution a  privé] fermiers et pêcheurs de leurs moyens de subsistance…Shell estime que la majorité du pétrole répandu provient de tentatives pour pomper illégalement du pétrole sur les oléoducs…

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13 November 2014

Shell 'warned Nigeria pipeline could leak before spills'

Author: Howard Mustoe, BBC (UK)

Two spills in 2008 affected about 35 sq miles (90 sq km) in southern Nigeria, according to a group suing Shell…Shell "dismisses the suggestion that it has knowingly continued to use a pipeline that is not safe to operate,"…The emails, letters and internal reports submitted to a court in London show that senior Shell employees were concerned before the spill that Shell's pipelines in the area had reached the end of their lives and needed replacing to avoid danger to lives, the environment and the economy…"The decision by Shell to continue pumping oil through pipelines which they knew were not fit for purpose is quite shocking," said Martyn Day, a senior partner at Leigh Day, the lawyers representing the community filing the claim…

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