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Nigerian villages close Shell Oil facilities

Cutting into Shell’s production by 10,000 barrels per day, hundreds of angry Nigerian villagers have shut down an oil-pump and mounted surveillance along the connected pipeline to prevent the company from using them. The protesters are demanding adequate compensation for the impacts of a December 2003 oil spill and fire that damaged more than 500 hectares on the Niger Delta. “We were informed by insider sources that the undue delay in plugging the pipe and setting fire on the spill were to enable it [to attract a] huge contract from clean up operations to oil the pockets of some corrupt Shell staff,” the communities told ThisDay. Shell spent $1.7 on environmental clean-up and restoration activities that locals claim were never performed, while awarding the two most heavily impacted communities a total of less than $1,000 for their agricultural, fishery and cultural resource losses. In another part of Nigeria, the Ijaw people are threatening to blockade plants and dismantle pipelines if they are not compensated for a 1998 oil spill. Meanwhile, two cases in U.S. courts are putting Chevron on the spot for attacking Delta villages in retaliation for protests. The Nigerians plaintiffs in these cases are represented by EarthRights International and other lawyers.

Posted Date: 
23 August 2005 - 2:57pm