LAGOS: SHELL Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria, which has confirmed a £55 million settlement agreement with the Bodo community in respect of the two operational spills in 2008, said it regretted the setback.
The settlement announced on Wednesday provides for an individual payment to each claimant who accepts the settlement agreement in compensation for losses arising from the spills, amounting to up to £35 million in total.
The remaining £20 million payment will be made for the benefit of the Bodo community generally.
“From the outset, we’ve accepted responsibility for the two deeply regrettable operational spills in Bodo.
“We’ve always wanted to compensate the community fairly and we are pleased to have reached agreement,” said Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director of SPDC.
“We are fully committed to the clean-up process being overseen by the former Netherlands’ Ambassador to Nigeria. Despite delays caused by divisions within the community, we are pleased that clean-up work will soon begin now that a plan has been agreed with the community.” In late 2008, two oil spills took place on the Bomu-Bonny Pipeline in Bodo.
Both spills were caused by operational failure of the pipelines. As soon as the independent Joint Investigation Team had determined the cause, SPDC accepted responsibility for the two operational spills in Bodo.
SPDC acknowledged responsibility to pay compensation as required by Nigerian law. In 2011, members of the Bodo Community brought claims against SPDC in the UK for environmental pollution. The claimants are represented by a London law firm, Leigh Day & Co.
Earlier settlement efforts failed mainly as a result of the alleged grossly exaggerated nature of the claims, which at one stage exceeded £300 million.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY