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Posts under ‘Friends of the Earth’

Shell should not oversee Ogoni clean up —Civil rights group

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By Jimitota Onoyume: AUGUST 5, 2016

PORT HARCOURT—  Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government not to include Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in any body constituted to oversee the clean up exercise in Ogoni, Rivers State.

Executive Director of the organisation, Dr Godwin Ojo,  in his opening remark at a colloquium,  yesterday, in Port Harcourt, to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the release of the recommendations of United Nations Environment Programme,  UNEP, on Ogoni-land, said that the alleged insistence by the oil company to sit on the Governing Council and Steering Board was worrisome.

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Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

Yereth Rosen: Alaska Dispatch News: May 9, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has decided to give up all but one of its federal offshore leases in the Chukchi Sea, bringing what appears to be an anticlimactic end to its multibillion-dollar effort to turn those icy Arctic waters off northwestern Alaska into a new oil-producing frontier.

“After extensive consideration and evaluation, we have made the decision to relinquish all but one of our federal offshore leases in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. This action is consistent with our earlier decision not to explore offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” company spokesman Curtis Smith said in an email on Monday.

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Shell dragged into Nigeria oil corruption probe

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“We can confirm that representatives of the Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) and the Dutch Public Prosecutor recently visited Shell at its headquarters in The Hague,” a spokesman said.

“The visit was related to OPL 245, an offshore block in Nigeria that was the subject of a series of long-standing disputes with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Shell is cooperating with the authorities and is looking into the allegations, which it takes seriously.”

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Shell hospitality tour for EU diplomats branded ‘PR exercise’ by campaigners

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Arthur NeslenFriday 18 March 2016 

An email seen by the Guardian invites energy attaches from the EU’s 28 countries to visit the Shell technology Centre, take an ‘oil majors and oil paintings’ tour of the Van Gogh Museum, and have lunch with Shell’s president in the Netherlands.

Brook Riley, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “It is disgraceful to see Shell splurging profits from dirty, dangerous gas extraction on a blatant PR exercise, with the full support of the Dutch government. It is no wonder the EU’s energy plans are assuming zero improvements in efficiency or renewables. They are acting as though climate change does not exist.”

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Environmental group condemns Shell for poor response to oil spill incident at Adibawa Oil field

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By NAN on January 2, 2016

An Environmental Rights group has condemned what it called the ‘slow response of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to the oil spill incident of July 12,2015 at the Adibawa Oil field, operated by the company.

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) made the condemnation in its field report on the oil field, a copy which was made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa on Saturday.

The group regretted that more than six months after the oil leak incident was reported, oil recovery was yet to be completed, exposing the environment to continued pollution by spilled crude.

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Royal Dutch Shell braced for a flood of compensation claims

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Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 14.30.30By ROB DAVIES FOR THE DAILY MAIL19 December 2015

Royal Dutch Shell is braced for a flood of compensation claims against its Nigerian business over oil spills, after a ruling that makes it more vulnerable to lawsuits.

Judges in The Hague, Netherlands, ordered Shell to hand over documents that could shed light on the cause of spills, which the firm blamed on sabotage by oil thieves.

The ruling is a blow for Shell, which had argued that cases against its Nigerian joint venture SPDC should be heard in Nigeria where the plaintiffs are based, and where companies cannot be held responsible for spills caused by sabotage.

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Shell could face ‘tens of billions in damages’ over Nigeria spills

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Court rules Royal Dutch Shell can be held liable for oil spills at its subsidiary in Nigeria

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47By Reuters: 1:34PM GMT 18 Dec 2015

A Dutch appeals court has ruled that Royal Dutch Shell can be held liable for oil spills at its subsidiary in Nigeria, potentially opening the way for other compensation claims against the multinational.

Judges in The Hague ordered Shell to make available to the court documents that might shed light on the cause of the oil spills and whether leading managers were aware of them.

A lower Dutch court in 2013 had found that Shell’s Dutch-based parent company could not be held liable for leakages of oil at its Nigerian subsidiary.

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Dutch court: Nigeria farmers can sue Shell in Netherlands

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Dutch court: Nigeria farmers can sue Shell in Netherlands

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47[JURIST] The Hague Court of Appeals [official website] ruled Friday that the Royal Dutch Shell [corporate website] can be sued in a Dutch court for their involvement in oil leaks in Nigeria. The ruling [text, in Dutch] stems from a suit brought by four Nigerian farmers that claimed Shell and its Nigerian subsidiaries were responsible for oil leaks leading to their lands being damaged. In a statement explaining their reasoning for their decision, the Court of Appeals said, “It cannot be established in advance that the parent company is not liable for possible negligence of the Nigerian operating company.”

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Shell to face Nigeria oil spill lawsuit

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A Dutch judge has ruled that a court in the Netherlands should hear a case against Royal Dutch Shell brought by four Nigerian farmers.

The farmers and fishermen want Shell to clean up oil spills in four villages in the Niger Delta and pay compensation.

The latest ruling overturns a decision that was made two years ago by a lower court.

The oil giant said it was disappointed with decision made by appeals court judge Hans van der Klooster.

He ruled that Dutch courts had jurisdiction in the case against Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary.

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Dutch court says Royal Dutch Shell can be liable for Nigeria spills

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Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 08.01.07By Thomas Escritt: FRIDAY, 18 DEC 2015

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – A Dutch appeals court ruled on Friday that Royal Dutch Shell can be held liable for oil spills at its subsidiary in Nigeria, potentially opening the way for other compensation claims against the multinational.

Judges in The Hague ordered Shell to make available to the court documents that might shed light on the cause of the oil spills and whether leading managers were aware of them.

Friday’s ruling overturned a finding by a lower Dutch court in 2013 that Shell’s Dutch-based parent company could not be held liable for spills at its Nigerian subsidiary.

The legal dispute dates back to 2008 when four Nigerian farmers and campaign group Friends of the Earth filed suit against the oil company in the Netherlands, where its global headquarters is based.

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Back off, Alaskan energy group tells Shell activists

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Shell plans to start drilling in Alaskan waters as early as this summer

By Daniel J. Graeber     |   June 3, 2015 at 8:08 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 3 (UPI) — With pressure building on Shell’s port activity in Seattle, an Alaskan energy coalition said the state’s economy won’t be held hostage by external activists.

“We don’t like our economy being held hostage by activists from another state,” Anne Seneca, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance-Alaska, said in a statement.

With federal approval in hand, Shell said it may start its drilling campaign in the arctic waters off the coast of Alaska as early as this summer. Shell’s drilling rig, Polar Pioneer, is stationed at the Port of Seattle ahead of the program’s start. In mid-May, a flotilla of kayakers took to the waters off the coast of Seattle to protest Shell.

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Swiss Role in Aggressive Tax Avoidance by Royal Dutch Shell

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Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43By John Donovan

The lead article in The Sunday Times Business section today (authored by Simon Duke and David Smith) says that Britain is at the forefront of a crackdown on corporate tax avoidance – a blitz on tax avoidance by multinationals.

The UK Treasury  is planning a consultation on forcing multinationals like Royal Dutch Shell to declare how much tax they pay in every country in which they operate.

Extract

Country by Country reporting would introduce greater transparency into the complex structures used by big companies to minimise their tax liabilities…

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Shell Lied to Dutch Court About Oil Spills in Nigeria

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 18.50.09The significance of the Newsweek article is therefore threefold: firstly Shell appears to have misled the court in the Hague which from a reputational perspective is extremely damaging (hence the headline of the article), secondly the case will now return to court for a retrial, and thirdly the lawyers and witnesses in the original case may be subject to legal action by the Dutch authorities.

COMMENT ON NEWSWEEK ARTICLE: Shell Lied to Dutch Court About Oil Spills in Nigeria, Say Friends of the Earth

POSTED BY JOHN DONOVAN

I’m not a lawyer, but the following is my understanding of the significance of the Newsweek article and the case brought by the “Friends of the Earth”.

The two Nigerian cases are actually very significant to anyone forced to confront Shell in a Dutch court.

Unlike the UK or US, there is no “discovery” in Holland and no opportunity to request documents from the other side to support a case.

The system works when everyone is honest, but fails dismally when US or UK lawyers see their role as “misleading the court” to the advantage of their client. For many lawyers, this is of course the basis of hearings in the US and the UK.

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Shell Lied to Dutch Court

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“The walls are beginning to close in on Shell. The image that the company would like to present of itself, in the role of the victim instead of the perpetrator, is crumbling more and more,”

The oil company Shell lied to a Dutch court about steps taken to minimize the risk of oil spills during a court case brought against the multinational oil and gas company by four Nigerian farmers and Friends of the Earth, lawyers acting for the claimants alleged today.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Netherlands and a group of four farmers from villages in the Niger Delta were aiming to claim compensation from Shell for damages caused when a major oil pipeline burst, causing devastation to local communities.

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Greenpeace attacks Lego in second anti-Shell partnership video

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By John Donovan

With its usual determination, Greenpeace continues to mount a sustained innovative campaign against the plans of Royal Dutch Shell to drill in Arctic waters. 

It is worth remembering that Shell has in the past used dirty tricks, including undercover activity by its paid spies/infiltrators, in an attempt to combat and undermine Greenpeace.

See: MI6 ‘firm’ spied on green groups” 

Shell still has its own internal army of spies now operating under the name of Shell Global Security (previously as Corporate Affairs Security). I am sure they continue to closely monitor Greenpeace (and me). 

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Respond To Shell Allegation Of Non-Release Of Ogoni Remediation Funds

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ARTICLE BY LARA ADEJORO PUBLISHED 8 JULY 2014 BY THE DAILY TIMES OF NIGERIA 

The disclosure by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) that the Nigerian government was frustrating the release of funds for the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Assessment on Ogoniland has come as a rude shock and the Ogoni people demand an answer, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has said.

Augustine Igbuku, the Ogoni Restoration Project Manager for SPDC told the House of Representatives Committee on Environment that Shell was willing to contribute to the $1 billion Ogoni Restoration Fund but was being frustrated by the lack of government structure and a legal framework for the Hydrocarbon Restoration Project (HYPREP), the ad hoc intervention agency set up by the same government.

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Oil giant says profits are assured

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 00.23.56Extracts from an article published by Eco-Business 28 May 2014

Shell, the world’s largest oil company, believes that governments will not damage its business by taking rapid action on climate change, and says all its oil reserves will be needed and sold at a profit.

In a robust reply to a recent report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, Shell explains the company reasoning for investing in tar sands and other high cost and difficult-to-extract oil reserves. It says that an ever-expanding global economy, fuelled by population growth and great prosperity, will need more and more oil and gas at least until 2050. This will support high prices.

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Lobbying bill is inherently unfair

While Greenpeace might find itself facing more burdensome regulation of its campaign against drilling in the Arctic, Shell can avoid any regulation of its efforts to influence government policy in the other direction by using in-house lobbyists.

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The Guardian, Monday 2 September 2013 21.00 BST

Some deficiencies of the transparency of lobbying, non-party campaigning and trade union administration bill have been widely trailed. Part 1 of the bill fails to impose transparency obligations on all but a fraction of professional lobbyists. Meanwhile, the uncertainty of rules on non-party campaigning in part 2 poses a serious threat to campaigning by charities and others (Lobbying bill ‘could put charities at risk of prosecution’, 2 September).

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Shell criticized over Niger Delta pipelines ‘sabotage’ claims

Controversy relating to Shell’s evil track record in Nigeria is not limited to oil spill pollution. There is also the corruption, plunder, collusion, militants on Shell’s pay roll and Shell spying on the host government. Graphic from the Guardian Article: Unloveable Shell: the Goddess of Oil (Comments by John Donovan)

Claims by Shell that sabotage is responsible for most oil spilt in Nigeria have come under fire. A Dutch agency found that the oil giants statements were based on disputed evidence and flawed investigations.

Friends of the Earth International

Amnesty International

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, 19 JUNE 2013 – Claims by Shell that sabotage is responsible for most oil spilt in Nigeria have come under fire. A Dutch agency found that the oil giant’s statements were based on disputed evidence and flawed investigations.

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Shell to resume Niger delta oil spill compensation talks

Oil company Shell will resume talks next week in London with lawyers representing 15,000 of the poorest people in the world who are claiming millions of pounds’ compensation for oil spills on the Niger delta. But Martyn Day, of Leigh Day law firm which is acting for the communities, said the case could still go to a full high court trial in London in 2014.

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The company has admitted liability for two spills but disputes the quantity of oil and damage done

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Oil company Shell will resume talks next week in London with lawyers representing 15,000 of the poorest people in the world who are claiming millions of pounds’ compensation for oil spills on the Niger delta. But Martyn Day, of Leigh Day law firm which is acting for the communities, said the case could still go to a full high court trial in London in 2014.

The Shell petroleum development company of Nigeria (SPDC) has admitted liability for two spills from a pipeline in the Niger delta in 2008, but the company disputes the quantity of oil that was spilled and the damage that was done to livelihoods and the environment near the coastal village of Bodo in Rivers State. Oil spill experts working for the communities estimate that nearly 500,000 barrels leaked from the company pipeline over several months, Shell claims it was far less.

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Shell ‘uses sabotage claims to avoid blame for Nigeria oil spills’

Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 10.25.25The National Contact Point (NCP) agency will today give Shell a rap on the knuckles for its reporting of its spills in the Niger Delta region, some of which have been highly damaging to the environment. NCP has reached this conclusion following an investigation into accusations by Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth International that Shell has exaggerated the proportion of spills caused by sabotage to avoid paying compensation and to reduce damage to its reputation.

TOM BAWDEN: WEDNESDAY 19 JUNE 2013

Shell’s persistent claims that theft and sabotage are responsible for almost all the oil spills at its operation in Nigeria could have been exaggerated, an international watchdog has found.

The National Contact Point (NCP) agency will today give Shell a rap on the knuckles for its reporting of its spills in the Niger Delta region, some of which have been highly damaging to the environment.

The agency, set up to oversee OECD guidelines on multi-national companies, said: “Given the many years of discussion about the causes of oil spills in Nigeria, Royal Dutch Shell management should have had a more cautious attitude about the percentage of oil spills caused by the sabotage,” noting that the data they are based on is “not absolute”.

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Dutch court rejects most of Shell spill case

A Dutch court has ruled that a subsidiary of international oil giant Royal Dutch Shell should be held responsible for pipeline leaks poisoning farmland in Nigeria. It was believed to be the first time a Dutch court has held a multinational’s foreign subsidiary liable for environmental damage and ordered it to pay damages.

A Friends of the Earth banner outside court ahead of the case of Nigerian farmers against Shell, in The Hague, Netherlands.(Photo: Peter Dejong, AP)

January 30, 2013

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch court has ruled that a subsidiary of international oil giant Royal Dutch Shell should be held responsible for pipeline leaks poisoning farmland in Nigeria.

In its ruling Wednesday, the Hague Civil Court rejected most of a landmark case brought by Nigerian farmers and environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth against Shell, saying the leaking pipelines were was caused by saboteurs, not Shell negligence.

However, in one case the judges ordered a subsidiary, Shell Nigeria, to compensate a farmer for breach of duty of care by making it too easy for saboteurs to open an oil well head that leaked on to his land.

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Niger Delta Villagers VS Shell – Seeking Justice Abroad

By Zainab Usman, 16 November 2012:

opinion

Legal action against Shell failed in Nigerian courts. So now villagers from the Niger delta are bringing the fight to Shell in their home country of the Netherlands.

In the latest case of Nigerians seeking justice abroad for crimes within Nigeria, a group of villagers from the Niger delta has taken oil behemoth Royal Dutch Shell to court in the Netherlands over alleged environmental pollution and “corporate crimes”.

Nigeria, the leading oil producer in Africa and eighth largest in the world, has most of its oil deposits located in the wetland and mangrove region of the Niger delta. Decades of oil extraction have left much of the region’s vegetation, farmlands, fishponds and drinking water polluted, and contributed to the impoverishment of much of its local population.

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Britain is sitting on a £1.5 trillion gas goldmine

Pilot wells caused two earthquakes in Lancashire last year and green campaigners warn the method could contaminate the water supply.

By Tom Mcghie and Nick Craven

Britain is sitting on a £1.5 trillion shale gas bonanza that could be worth more than the remaining North Sea gas.

The amount is bigger than previously thought and would potentially bring energy price stability and independence from imports for decades.

Although only about ten per cent  of the gas is in unpopulated areas suitable for extraction, it would still be worth £150 billion.

The level of untapped shale gas will be confirmed next month in a study by the British Geological Survey, commissioned by the Department  of Energy and Climate Change, according to industry sources.

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Royal Dutch Shell is Trending: Here’s Why That’s Not a Good Thing

By : November 07, 2012

Worldwide concern regarding a 2011 leak at one of Royal Dutch Shell’s (NYSE:RDSA)(NYSE:RDSB) oil fields in Nigeria has gained critical mass; so far this week, the company has been trending on Twitter.

Short phrases like “Payback time for Big Oil,” “Justice for the people,” and “Tell parliament to end oil impunity” have littered the company’s feed over the past few days.

Many of the tweets include a link to a petition sponsored by the advocacy group Avaaz, urging the Nigerian Parliament to fine Shell $5 billion for the 2011 Bonga Oil Spill. In the petition, Avaaz describes Shell as a “giant oil polluter” responsible for a spill that “devastated the lives of millions of people.”

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Four Nigerian Farmers Take On Oil Giants Shell

By Simona Sikimic: SATURDAY OCTOBER 20, 2012

Law, it is often said is what separates us from the barbarians. But law can also be used to stop so-called civilizing forces from performing barbaric actions abroad. As four Nigerian farmers and fishermen take oil giants Shell to court, this premise will be tested to the maximum.

If they succeed, a new avenue for seeking remuneration, and through it the compliance of more ethical practices, will be secured. If they fail, the cloak of immunity that has for too long surrounded multinationals working in the developing world will be drawn tighter still.

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Nigeria: Shell’s civil legal suit in the Netherlands breaks new ground

By Adam Robert Green: 17 October 2012

Three legal challenges against Shell for pollution charges in the Niger Delta could set precedents for how multinational companies are sued for environmental damages in developing countries. All three inquiries – in the UK, the Netherlands and the US – are being judged in countries other than the one in which damages are said to have occurred.

Shell’s trial in the Netherlands for oil pollution in the Niger Delta is a landmark; the first time a Dutch company has been brought before a home court to answer charges of environmental damage caused abroad. The UK High Court is also reviewing a case concerning the Anglo-Dutch company’s Nigeria operations.

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Shell Faces Oil-Spill Compensation Claims

Updated October 11, 2012, 12:55 p.m. ET

By SELINA WILLIAMS

LONDON—Royal Dutch Shell RDSA +0.28% PLC Thursday appeared in court in the Netherlands for the first time over the actions of one of its foreign subsidiaries, facing compensation claims for environmental damage from oil spills in Nigeria.

The case could set a legal precedent over how Dutch companies are held responsible for the actions of their foreign subsidiaries.

The suit has been brought by environmental group Friends of the Earth Netherlands and four Nigerian farmers, who are seeking compensation over claims that oil spills from Shell pipelines in Nigeria have damaged their livelihood. They also say they want the Anglo-Dutch oil company, headquartered in The Hague, to complete a cleanup of the spills.

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Shell sued for negligence by Nigerian farmers

Four Nigerian villagers are suing Royal Dutch Shell for failing to clean-up oils spills that have destroyed their farms and damaged their health in landmark case that has started in The Hague.

By Louise Armitstead and Emily Gosden: 6:58PM BST 11 Oct 2012

The fishermen and farmers, who are backed by Friends of the Earth, are seeking unspecified damages for polluting land and waterways around their homes. That campaigners said that if successful, the case could open flood-gates to a raft of claims for compensation on Shell and other oil majors.

Channa Samkalden, a lawyer representing the Nigerians, told the court that Shell had allowed its pipelines to fall into disrepair and then had not cleaned up the mess from subsequent leaks. She said: “Shell knew for a long time that the pipeline was damaged but didn’t do anything. They could have stopped the leaks.”

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Nigeria oil spills: Shell rejects liability claim

11 October 2012 Last updated at 18:34

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has rejected claims by four Nigerian farmers that it should pay compensation for damage to their land.

The farmers are suing the company in a civil court in The Hague, claiming oil spills ruined their livelihoods.

Shell’s lawyers told the court it could not be held liable because most spills were caused by criminal damage.

They said repairs were hard to carry out because of insecurity in the Niger Delta.

Shell lawyer Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk told the court that sabotage and oil theft were widespread in the region.

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Payback time for Big Oil?

by Avaaz Teamposted 11 October 2012

For decades, Big Oil has ruled supreme in the developing world. When western oil giants like Texaco, Chevron and Shell set up business in Africa, Asia and Latin America, they’ve throw their money around to get the cheap labour, lax environmental enforcement and legal immunity from local officials and courts.

But now, a pair of groundbreaking legal cases raises hope that the petro barons may at long last be held to account.

Game time for Shell

This week, a court in the Hague is hearing a case against the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell. It’s the first time a major Dutch corporation has faced trial in a civil court in the Netherlands for damage caused in another country.

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Nigerian farmer sue Shell in Dutch court claiming oil giant has to clean up spills

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, October 11, 12:11 PM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Nigerian farmers asked a Dutch court Thursday to rule that oil company Shell is liable for poisoning their fish ponds and farmland with leaking pipelines, in a case that could set a legal precedent for holding multinationals responsible for actions overseas.The case at The Hague Civil Court marks the first time a Dutch company has been sued for alleged environmental mismanagement caused by a foreign subsidiary and could pave the way for similar claims if it succeeds.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC long argued that the case, which was launched in 2008, should be heard in Nigeria and still maintains the Dutch court should not have jurisdiction.

Lawyers for the Nigerians argue that key policy decisions by Shell are made at its headquarters in The Hague and that means the Dutch court can rule in the case.

Just how much compensation and clean-up costs Shell faces would be addressed at a separate hearing if the court rules in favor of the farmers.

Four villagers and environmental group Friends of the Earth say Shell pipeline leaks fouled fish ponds, farmland and forests in three villages in the Niger Delta, Goi, Oruma and Ikot Ada Udo.

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Farmers sue oil giant Shell over Niger Delta pollution

(CNN) — Four Nigerian farmers and the environmental group Friends of the Earth took oil giant Shell to court Thursday in the Netherlands to demand a proper cleanup and compensation for pollution in the Niger Delta.

The farmers want the Anglo-Dutch multinational to “clean up the oil pollution in their fields and fishponds” and make sure their pipelines are maintained and kept secure to prevent leaks in the future.

The civil case has been filed against the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and its international headquarters in the Netherlands, Royal Dutch Shell.

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Nigeria oil spills: Dutch case against Shell begins

11 October 2012 Last updated at 14:31

Representatives of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell are appearing in a Dutch civil court to face accusations of polluting Nigerian villages.

The case is being brought by four Nigerian farmers and the Dutch branch of campaigners Friends of the Earth.

If their case is successful it could pave the way for thousands of other compensation claims, says the BBC’s Anna Holligan in The Hague.

Shell insists it has been unable to clean up the spills due to insecurity.

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Nigerian farmers sue Shell over oil pipe leaks

By Maude Brulard (AFP)11 October 2012

THE HAGUE — Shell broke the law by not repairing leaks that destroyed the lands of Niger Delta farmers, a Dutch court heard Thursday in a case that could set a precedent for global environmental responsibility.

The four Nigerian farmers, backed by lobby group Friends of the Earth, have brought the Anglo-Dutch oil giant into court thousands of miles away from their homes with a civil suit that could open the door for hundreds of similar cases.

“Shell knew for a long time that the pipeline was damaged but didn’t do anything: they could have stopped the leaks,” lawyer Channa Samkalden told the court, accusing Shell of having “violated its legal obligations”.

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Nigerian farmers sue Shell in Dutch case with global reach

Four Nigerian farmers take on Shell in a Dutch court, accusing the oil giant of destroying their livelihoods in a case that could set a precedent for global environmental responsibility.

October 11, 2012

The civil suit, backed by lobby group Friends of the Earth, alleges that oil spills dating back to 2005 by the Anglo-Dutch company made fishing and farming in the plaintiffs’ Niger Delta villages impossible.

The case was initially filed in 2008, demanding that Royal Dutch Shell clean up the mess, repair and maintain defective pipelines to prevent further damage and pay out compensation.

In a landmark ruling, the Dutch judiciary in 2009 declared itself competent to try the case despite protests from Shell that its Nigerian subsidiary was solely legally responsible for any damage.

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Clean Up Sakhalin Oil Spill, Not Your Image, Campaigners tell Shell

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE OCTOBER 2004

Friends of the Earth: Clean Up Sakhalin Oil Spill, Not Your Image, Campaigners tell Shell

“The spill stretched along five kilometres of coast and left local residents ill. Environmentalists had previously criticised Shell for not having an effective spill response plan and were furious when their fears proved well founded.“

Posted 7 Oct 2004

Environmental groups expressed outrage today as oil giant Shell moved to appoint a “crisis management” public relations officer for its troubled multi-billion dollar Sakhalin project in Russia’s Far East.

Shell has posted the recruitment ad just three weeks after one of its dredging vessels ran aground causing a Category 2 oil spill at Kholmsk on Sakhalin. The spill stretched along five kilometres of coast and left local residents ill. Environmentalists had previously criticised Shell for not having an effective spill response plan and were furious when their fears proved well founded.

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Nigeria: Pollution – Dutch Court to Hear Nigerians Suit Against Shell

By Chika Amanze-Nwachuku, 2 October 2012

Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell is to appear in a Dutch court to account for alleged environmental pollution in Nigeria, environmental rights group, Friends of the Earth International has said.

The court case against Shell’s oil spills in Nigeria had been filed by four Nigerian plaintiffs in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands and supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

Friends of the Earth International said in a release that Shell would appear in a Dutch court on October 11, to account for damage it caused abroad. Lawyers for both parties will plea at the key hearing in The Hague, while the court verdict is expected early in 2013.

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Supreme Court holds U.S. rights legacy in the balance

By Vincent Warren, Special to CNN September 27, 2012 — Updated 1834 GMT (0234 HKT)

(CNN) — An argument before the Supreme Court on October 1 in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum will have enormous significance. The case concerns the torture of Ogoni leaders in Nigeria, but at stake is the future of the law under which this case was brought, the Alien Tort Statute.

The United States stands at a crossroads. At its best, our nation has played a crucial role in championing human rights throughout the world and pioneering human rights law. At its worst, it has abandoned its lofty ideals in the name of realpolitik and supported dictators and policies that were responsible for horrible abuses.

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Nigeria: Key Hearing in Court Case On Oil Giant Shell’s Nigerian Oil Pollution

26 September 2012

press release

The Hague — For the first time in history, a European company, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, will appear in a Dutch court to account for damage it caused abroad, Friends of the Earth International announced today.

The court case against Shell’s oil spills in Nigeria has been filed by four Nigerian plaintiffs in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands and supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

Lawyers for both parties will plea at a key hearing in The Hague on 11 October at 9:30am. [1] The verdict is expected early in 2013.

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Plight of Niger Delta, by Dutch citizens

‘WE have rarely been so touched or felt so loved by a group of people we only just met. It has been an amazing experience that has changed all of us forever and we promise you, we will not give up this fight”, these are the words of some Dutch citizens who visited the environmentally ravaged Niger Delta of Nigeria.

The Dutch citizens were from Milieudefensie / Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Dutch public broadcasting company, VARA. They visited the oil and gas region from August 20 – 29, with Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

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Gas fracking should not be allowed anywhere, says top environmentalist

The Irish Times – Monday, August 20, 2012

FRANK McDONALD, Environment Editor

THE GOVERNMENT would “become the shoeshine boy of the [shale gas] industry” if it allowed fracking to take place anywhere in Ireland, according to the Nigerian human rights activist who heads Friends of the Earth International.

Nnimmo Bassey said Ministers “should not be allowed to sacrifice the environment on the altar of corporate greed” – as they had done for decades in his own country, where “the entire nation was Shell’s concession”.

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Insight: A year on, Nigeria’s oil still poisons Ogoniland

 (Reuters) – A bright yellow sign above the well in this sleepy Nigerian village says ‘caution: not fit for use’, and the sulphurous stink off the water that children still pump into buckets sharply reinforces that warning.

“Can you smell it? Don’t get any in your mouth or you’ll be sick,” said Victoria Jiji, 55, as she walked past the bore hole in her home village of Ekpangbala, one of several in Ogoniland, southeast Nigeria, whose drinking water has turned toxic.

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Shell and Friends of the Earth exhange fire via the FT

By John Donovan

Stumbled across this interesting correspondence conducted publicly via the letters page of the Financial Times several years ago between Sir Mark Moody-Stuart of Shell and Mr Tony Juniper, Executive Director, Friends of the Earth, London. As can be seen, Sir Mark scored a spectacular own goal. Got his facts wrong.

FROM OUR JUNE 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

Shell Director Sir Mark Moody-Stuart & Tony Juniper, Executive Director, Friends of the Earth, exchange fire  via the letters page of the Financial Times

Financial Times: Enjoy a free trip and get to ask Shell a question: By Sir Mark Moody-Stuart

Thursday 30 June 2005

By Mark Moody-Stuart

From Sir Mark Moody-Stuart.

Sir, Attending my last annual meeting of Shell as a director, I was interested to note that almost half of the 20 or so questions asked came from individuals from areas in the neighbourhood of Shell operations in Sakhalin, Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and the US. According to Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth (FoE), who summed up their concerns, these people had been brought to England by FoE to reflect locally held views.

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Shell Oil in Nigeria: A Social and Environmental Disaster

Graphic from The Guardian Article: Unloveable Shell: the Goddess of Oil

Friends of the Earth International

MAY 21st, 2012

SEVENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE ASK OIL GIANT SHELL TO CLEAN UP ITS MESS IN NIGERIA

AMSTERDAM (THE NETHERLANDS), May 21st, 2012 – On the eve of the annual general meeting of oil giant Shell, Friends of the Earth International announced that it will deliver to Shell CEO Peter Voser some 70,000 signatures of

people who want Shell to start cleaning up its mess in the oil-rich and highly polluted Niger delta in Nigeria.

The signatories believe that Shell must take responsibility for its pollution and provide a US$1 billion emergency fund needed to start cleaning up the Niger Delta.

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Call for Norwegian Government Pension Fund disinvestment in Shell

An eminent group of scientists and professionals have sent a collective communication to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund recommending disinvestment in the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell on ethical grounds.

By John Donovan

An eminent group of scientists and professionals have sent a collective communication to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund recommending disinvestment in the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell on ethical grounds.

The pension fund has already dis-invested in several mining and forestry companies “known to cause severe environmental and human rights related harm in their operations.”

If the campaign is successful, which focuses on Shell’s horrendous track record in Nigeria, Royal Dutch Shell would be the first oil and gas company the fund would exclude from its portfolio.

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Group Says Shell Must Be ‘Accountable’ for Spills

allAfrica.com

Judd-Leonard Okafor

12 January 2012

The environmental group, Friends of the Earth Nigeria, says the oil corporation Royal Dutch Shell must be held accountable for pollutions from its facilities, stopping it from causing further pollution and ensuring it deploys appropriate technology to deal with spills.

The group’s stance came after Senate committee on environment and ecology summoned the company, along with the environment ministry officials and two agencies in the wake of a 150km wide spill from a facility belonging Shell at Bonga, some 120km off the Nigerian coast

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Rush to clean major Shell oil spill off Nigeria

By Sophie Mongalvy (AFP) 22 December 2011

LAGOS — Authorities rushed to prevent one of Nigeria’s worst recent oil spills from reaching the West African nation’s shoreline on Thursday, with production from a major Shell field also shut due to the leak.

Shell, which said the leak has been stopped, has estimated that less than 40,000 barrels of crude have spilled into the sea and was deploying ships with dispersants to attack the slick. Planes were also being mobilised.

It was Nigeria’s worst offshore spill since a 1998 Mobil incident, officials said, though onshore leaks have been estimated at levels far worse since that time in the oil-producing Niger Delta.

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Shell reports new oil spill in Nigeria

By Samuel Tife

YENAGOA, Nigeria | Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:50pm EST

(Reuters) – Anglo-Dutch energy major Shell said on Sunday it was containing a new oil spill in Nigeria’s onshore delta, the latest in a string of leaks from the company’s pipelines, which it has blamed on sabotage attacks and oil theft.

The spill came from part of Shell’s Okordia/Rumuekpe oil pipeline in the Niger Delta, where a fire last week forced the company to cut out some production.

Oil spills are common in Nigeria and are often caused by oil thieves and saboteurs who tap into the hundreds of kilometers of unguarded pipelines that vein through the vast waterways, creeks and swamplands of the Niger Delta.

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Shell’s toxic legacy in Curacao

From pages 52, 53, 54 & 55 of “Royal Dutch Shell and its sustainability troubles” – Background report to the Erratum of Shell’s Annual Report 2010

The report was made on behalf of Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands)

Author: Albert ten Kate: May 2011.

A toxic legacy in Curacao

Curacao and its oil refinery

Curacao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and has a land area of 444 square kilometres. As of January 2010, its population amounted to around 142,000 people. Prior to 10 October 2010, when the Netherlands Antilles were dissolved, Curacao was administered as the Island Territory of Curacao, one of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles.

From 1918 until 1985, Shell owned and operated the Isla oil refinery in Curacao. During this period, the refinery has been one of the most important lifelines of Curacao. For example, in the early fifties it employed more than 12,000 people out of the total island population of 110,000 people. The refinery generated the foreign exchange necessary to finance the imports the island could not produce itself.  In the beginning of the eighties, Shell-companies provided for 33% of the island’s Gross National Product. Apart from the refinery, Shell had a local sales company, an oil storage/transshipment company, and a shipping company on the island. Shell was very important to Curacao, and the government of Curacao treated Shell kindly. In 1980, a former director of Shell declared towards a reporter of the Dutch newspaper NRC: “The Antillean government? We were that government.”

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