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1 May 2017

Eni lawsuit (re oil spill in Nigeria)

Status: CLOSED

Date lawsuit was filed
1 May 2017
Date accuracy
Year and Month Correct
Location of Filing: Italy
Location of Incident: Nigeria
Type of Litigation: Transnational


Eni Italy Oil, gas & coal



In May 2017, the Ikebiri community in Nigeria filed a lawsuit in Italy against Eni for clean-up and compensation of nearly 2 million euros following a 2010 oil spill in the Niger Delta that affected local waterways. The community alleged that the company had insufficiently remediated the damage. In October 2018, an out-of-court and confidential settlement agreement was reached.

Legal proceedings

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) following an oil spill in the Niger Delta on 5 April 2010.  The community alleged 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 claimed that NAOC had insufficiently remediated the damage by burning the spilt oil in the area, a practice the community alleged 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 was scheduled for April 18th.

After some months of discussion through negotiations parallel to the court proceedings, an out-of-court and confidential settlement agreement was reached in October 2018 between the community and NAOC. NAOC committed to overhauling existing electricity generator sets, renovating the community’s health centre, constructing four kilometres of concrete road and providing direct electricity.