Nigeria fines Shell for oil spill

Nigeria fines Shell for oil spillLAGOS (CGN) – Nigeria fined Anglo-Dutch petroleum giant Shell one million naira (6,800 dollars, 5,100 euros) for failing to clean up an oil spill within reasonable time, a company official said Wednesday.

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) had been fined over the September 2008 spill in the southern state of Bayelsa which resulted in a fire in adjoining farmland, said the official, who asked not to be identified.

Nigeria’s spill detection agency also ordered SPDC, a Shell subsidiary, to pay compensation to victims from the local Peremabiri community once a detailed assessment had been carried out, media reports said.

Oil companies in Nigeria often attribute such incidents to vandalism by armed groups and local residents, although the company official who spoke to AFP Wednesday did not say whether this 2008 spillage was caused by sabotage.

With extensive on-shore facilities, Shell is particularly vulnerable to such criminal acts and has seen big production losses since armed groups in the Niger Delta stepped up attacks in 2006.

Other oil companies have also been affected and Nigeria’s total crude production has fallen to 1.78 million barrels a day from 2.6 million barrels in 2006.

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