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Shell agrees $84m deal over Niger Delta oil spill

From: BBC

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to a $84m (£55m) settlement with residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta for two oil spills.

Lawyers for 15,600 Nigerian fishermen say their clients will receive $3,300 each for losses caused by the spills.

The remaining $30m will be left for the community, which law firm Leigh Day says was "devastated by the two massive oil spills in 2008 and 2009".

These were among the biggest spills in decades of oil exploration in Nigeria.

Thousands of hectares of mangrove were affected in the southern Ogoniland region.

BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says there are hundreds of oil spills each year in Nigeria, some caused by leaks, others by sabotage, with local people stealing oil.
Fishermen and farmers' livelihoods were destroyed by pollution.

The settlement was announced by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant's Nigerian subsidiary SPDC.

"From the outset, we've accepted responsibility for the two deeply regrettable operational spills in Bodo," its managing director Mutiu Sunmonu said. Shell says that both spills were caused by operational failure of the pipelines.

However, the company maintains that the extent of environmental pollution in the area is caused by "the scourge of oil theft and illegal refining".

It also suggested that earlier settlement efforts had been hampered "by divisions within the community".


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