Shell to pay 15 mln euros in settlement over Nigerian oil spills

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Shell (SHEL.L) will pay 15 million euros ($15.9 million) to communities in Nigeria that were affected by multiple oil pipeline leaks in the Niger Delta, the oil company on Friday said in a joint statement with the Dutch division of Friends of the Earth.

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The compensation is the result of a Dutch court case brought by Friends of the Earth, in which Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary SPDC last year was found to be responsible for the oil spills and was ordered to pay for damages to farmers.

The money will benefit the communities of Oruma, Goi and Ikot Ada Udo in Nigeria, that were impacted by four oil spills that occurred between 2004 and 2007.

“The settlement is on a no admission of liability basis, and settles all claims and ends all pending litigation related to the spills,” Shell said.

An independent expert had confirmed that SPDC has installed a leak detection system on the KCTL Pipeline in compliance with the appeal court’s orders, the company added.

The case was brought in 2008 by four farmers and environmental group Friends of the Earth, seeking reparations for lost income from contaminated land and waterways in the region, the heart of Nigeria’s oil industry.

After the appeals court’s final ruling last year, Shell said it continued to believe the spills were caused by sabotage.

But the court said Shell had not proven “beyond reasonable doubt” that sabotage had caused the spill, rather than poor maintenance.

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