Eni lawsuit (re oil spill in Nigeria)

In May 2017, the Ikebiri community of Nigeria filed a lawsuit against Eni in Italy for clean-up and compensation of nearly 690 million naira (around 2 million euros) Oil-pollution-Niger-Delta-Photo-credit-Sosialistisk-Ungdomfollowing an oil spill in the Niger Delta on 5 April 2010.  The community alleges that its sources of livelihoods such as a creek, fishing ponds and trees were damaged as a result of the oil spill which was caused by the bursting of a pipeline operated Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC); Eni is the majority owner of NAOC.  They also claim that NAOC has insufficiently remediated the damage by burning the spilt oil in the area, a practice the community alleges is inappropriate in itself, and taking no further clean-up measures to address the pollution.

According to Eni, NAOC fully cooperated with the authorities in Nigeria which were satisfied with the clean-up in the aftermath of the oil spill and is providing all necessary information in order to settle the dispute. 

A first hearing was held on 9 January 2018 at a Milan tribunal, and a second one is scheduled for April 18th.

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Article
9 January 2018

Nigerian community's oil pollution lawsuit against ENI begins

Author: Friends of the Earth Europe

Today, the Italian oil and gas corporation ENI appeared in front of the Tribunal of Milan to answer for its record of oil pollution in Nigeria. The plaintiff is the Ikebiri community of Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta, represented by their leader Chief Francis Ododo, whose land was polluted by an oil spill in 2010.

If successful, this will be the first case of an Italian corporation being held accountable by an Italian court for environmental and human rights abuses overseas.

The people of Ikebiri are seeking adequate clean-up and compensation from ENI for the pollution of the creek, ponds and trees caused by its subsidiary’s equipment. Friends of the Earth Europe and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria are supporting the community in bringing the case to court.

...The case continues with the next hearing scheduled for 18 April in Milan.

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Article
4 May 2017

ENI and the Nigerian Ikebiri case

Author: Friends of the Earth Europe

[A]n oil pipeline operated by ENI’s Nigerian operation, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) burst [in 2010]...The spill affected the creek, fishing ponds and trees essential to the local community, damaging the livelihoods of the local community...a joint inspection visit led by NAOC cited “equipment failure” as the cause...The leak was closed, and the surrounding polluted area of bush was burnt...an inadequate, dangerous and polluting method...No other clean-up has taken place since...An initial payment of...approximately €6,000...was made to the community for relief materials....An initial [compensation] offer of...approximately €14,000...was rejected by the community...[who] have now decided to take their case to Italy… seeking clean-up and...damages of...approximately € 2 million...

[also refers to Shell, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation]

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Article
4 May 2017

Nigerian village sues Eni for damages from pipe explosion

Author: Manuela D'Alessandro, Stephen Jewkes & David Clarke, Reuters

A Nigerian village has filed a lawsuit in Milan against Italian oil company Eni demanding compensation for damage caused by an oil pipeline explosion in 2010...asking Eni for 2 million euros ($2.2 million) in damages along with a commitment to clean up the area covering more than 43 acres (17 hectares),.."The explosion that happened near a river caused an environmental disaster that polluted water and land," [the plaintiffs' lawyer] said...Eni said [Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), which is owned by Eni] had always acted responsibly and had cleaned up the area quickly and efficiently, adding an inspection by the relevant authorities had had a positive outcome...[and that] NAOC was providing details to clear up the dispute...[The plaintiffs' lawyer] said a first hearing had been set for Dec. 11 at the Milan civil court...

[also refers to Shell]

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