Nigeria: Shell fights to have oil spillage case tried in local courts and not the UK courts
Author: Ellen Milligan, Bloomberg (Africa), Published on: 15 October 2019
‘Shell Units Fighting U.K. Lawsuit Over Nigerian Oil Spill’ 8 October
Two Royal Dutch Shell Plc units were sued over their involvement in one of the largest oil spills in Nigeria’s history. Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Co. and Shell International Trading & Shipping Co. allegedly undermined the emergency response to the spill eight years ago and made inadequate efforts to contain it, according to lawyers for the Oil Spill Victims Vanguard.
“That oil, which has never properly been cleaned up, continues to blight the claimants, their environments, livelihoods and communities to this day,” lawyer Graham Dunning said in court documents. The oil conglomerate acknowledges the overnight spill of 40,000 barrels of oil into the sea from the offshore Bonga oil field in December 2011, but said the case should be tried in Nigeria, not in English courts.
Shell pointed to a similar case in 2017, where the judge ruled that a suit filed over whether the parent company was responsible for extensive environmental damage caused by oil spills in the Niger River delta should be heard in Nigerian courts instead. That case has been granted permission to be heard in the U.K. Supreme Court.
Related companies: Royal Dutch Shell (Shell)