Shell’s Legacy in Nigeria: A Journey Marked by Controversy, Spills, and Shifting Tides


Shell, a trailblazer in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, has faced criticism over decades for spills in the Delta region and challenges with oil theft, corruption, and violence. Here are key milestones in Shell’s history in Nigeria:

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  • 1936: Royal Dutch Shell establishes a venture in Nigeria with BP Plc.
  • April 1973: Nigerian government acquires a stake, increasing it over the years.
  • 1979: Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) is established.
  • 1990: MOSOP, led by Ken Saro-Wiwa, advocates for a fairer share of oil wealth for the Ogoni people.
  • January 1993: MOSOP organizes protests against Shell, leading to Nigeria’s military occupation.
    -November 1995: Saro-Wiwa and MOSOP leaders executed, Nigeria suspended from the Commonwealth.
  • Late 1990s:Shell shifts focus to offshore exploration.
  • March 2001: Shell acquires a 40% stake in OPL 245.
  • 2005: Shell starts production at the Bonga offshore field.
  • 2008:MEND emerges, attacks Shell facilities, affecting production.
  • 2011: Shell and Eni acquire OPL 245 for $1.1 billion.
  • August 2011: UN report criticizes Shell for 50 years of pollution in Ogoniland.
  • March 2012:Nigerians launch a suit against Shell at the London High Court for the 2008 oil spills.
  • January 2013:Dutch court rules Shell could be held responsible for pollution in the Niger Delta.
  • January 2015: Shell accepts liability for the Bodo spills, agrees to pay £55 million.
  • May 2018:Milan court case against Shell and Eni over OPL 245 acquisition begins.
  • March 2021:Milan court acquits all defendants in the trial.
  • Aug 2021: Shell settles with the Ejama-Ebubu community for $111.68 million over an oil spill.
  • May 2023: UK Supreme Court rules Nigerian claimants can’t sue Shell subsidiaries over the 2011 oil spill.
  • January 2024:Shell agrees to sell its onshore Nigerian oil and gas subsidiary for up to $2.4 billion.
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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