SARAH KENT: November 21, 2016
Royal Dutch Shell is fighting lawsuits this week in London and The Netherlands over its environmental record in Nigeria, highlighting the quagmire of problems the energy company faces there as it tries to pivot away from the West African nation.
The oil-rich Niger Delta has generated billions of dollars for Shell over the past 60 years, but the company’s operations have been plagued by sabotage, theft and oil spills that ravaged the local environment.
Though Nigeria was one of its most prolific regions for crude production in 2015, Shell has sold off tracts of onshore oilfields. Its new focus — sealed with the mammoth $US50 billion acquisition of BG Group this year — is deepwater wells off the coasts of the US and Brazil and a historic shift toward natural gas that puts it at the forefront of oil companies offering a more climate-friendly image to investors.