Reports have Shell ready to pony up £30 million in compensation for two oil spills in Nigeria that took place in 2008. The offer came after a London court rejected a larger claim. Around 15,000 residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta represented by law firm Leigh Day appealed in 2011 to a London court for more than £300 million pounds in compensation.
Claimants say that the two spills resulted in the leakage of 500,000 barrels of oil, although Shell’s estimates are much lower than that at around 4,000 barrels.
The London High Court on June 20 rejected the claimants’ attempts to expand the scope of the compensation, ruling that the pipeline operator could not be held responsible for damage caused by oil theft.
Shell’s offer from September 2013 to settle the case for £30 million pounds remained on the table, sources involved in the case told Reuters. A trial is planned to start in May 2015, but Shell urged the claimants to reach a settlement beforehand.
“From the outset, we’ve accepted responsibility for the two deeply regrettable operational spills in Bodo,” Mutiu Sunmonu, MD for Shell’s Nigerian unit SPDC, said in a statement. “We hope the community will now direct their UK legal representatives to stop wasting even more time pursuing enormously exaggerated claims and consider sensible and fair compensation offers.”