- Niger Delta communities are set to receive compensation payments from Shell's headquarters
- The money is for the massive damage oil spillage from Shell pipelines have done to their farmlands
- The oil spills, in this case, happened from 2004 to 2007 and the payout follows a court decision in 2021
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Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) will pay over $16 million(7.14bn) to communities in Niger Delta states that were affected by multiple oil pipeline leaks.
A statement from the oil company on Friday, 23 December 2023 said that it is being given on the basis of "no admission of liability".
Shell decided to reach an agreement after it lost in a court case recently in the Netherlands that pronounced that its Nigerian branch of Shell was responsible for the damage.
Although it initially tried to appeal arguing that the spillage was a result of sabotage but after negotiation with the campaign group Friends of the Earth it agreed to pay compensation.
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Shell's statement reads:
"Under the settlement, SPDC, as the operator of the SPDC joint venture, will pay an amount of €15 million for the benefit of the communities and individual claimants," according to the statement.
"An independent expert certified that SPDC, as the operator of the SPDC joint venture, installed a leak detection system on the 20" lines that comprise the KCTL Pipeline in accordance with the Court of Appeal of The Hague, the Netherlands."
List of names, and communities set to get payment
BBC reports that the four farmers who began the case - Barizaa Dooh, Elder Friday Alfred Akpan, Chief Fidelis A Oguru, and Alali Efanga - said the leaks from underground oil pipelines had cost them their livelihoods by contaminating land and waterways.
Efanga and Dooh have died since the case was first filed so their sons pursued the case instead.
As well as compensation, last year's court ruling ordered Shell to set up a leak early detection system. This has now been installed, the joint statement by Shell and Friends of the Earth said.
The compensation will also be for the benefit of the communities of Oruma, Goi, and Ikot Ada Udo in Nigeria, impacted by four oil spills that occurred between 2004 and 2007.
Nigeria takes back number-one spot as Africa's largest oil producer
Meanwhile, in another development, Nigeria has returned to the summit in the list of Africa's top oil producer
This is according to OPEC's latest report which reveals that Nigeria increased its oil production in the month of November.
Nigeria has been suffering from crude oil theft and this compelled the NNPC to hire private security and it appears to be working.