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Shell to appeal Nigerian eviction

BBC NEWS

Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 16:24 UK

 
Shell Oil's oil and gas terminal on Bonny Island   

The local community says Shell only rented the land

Royal Dutch Shell has appealed a Nigerian court order requiring it hand over the site of a key base in the oil-rich but impoverished Niger Delta.

A high court in Rivers State ruled in July that the site of the Bonny lifting terminal belonged to the local community, not the oil multinational.

Local residents accused Shell of getting the certificate of ownership from the state government illegally.

But a BBC correspondent in Nigeria says the order is unlikely to be enforced.

A Shell spokeswoman refused to comment except to confirm that the company was appealing the decision.

The Bonny terminal was rented by Shell from the local population in 1958, but at some point in the more recent past the company got hold of a certificate saying they owned the land, news agency AFP reported community leaders as telling the court.

The terminal is Africa’s largest, with the capacity to dock several tankers at once.

It is unlikely the government will enforce the order, the BBC’s Alex Last in Lagos says.

Nigeria’s oil production has been cut by more than 20% partly because of unrest in the region over the past few years.

Militants have been attacking oil installations saying they are fighting for greater control over oil wealth for the local communities.

But are accused of making money from criminal rackets and trade in stolen oil. 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7671982.stm

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