OFFICIAL: Shell sues Nigerian government over compensation claim

Royal Dutch Shell has filed a suit against the Nigerian government at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Information available in the ICSID website showed that the oil company filed the suit on February 10.

Shell is filing its claim under the 1992 Netherlands-Nigeria bilateral investment treaty.

The company is contesting a court order to pay for damages caused by oil spills to Ejama-Ebubu community in the Niger Delta.

Shell denies responsibility for the oil spill, claiming that the spill was caused by third parties during the Nigerian Civil War which occurred between 1967 and 1970.

The community filed for damages to the tune of N17billion and all efforts by the company to argue its case have, so far, failed.

In November 2020, the supreme court dismissed Shell’s case for lacking merit and upheld a 2010 ruling against the company.

Shell Petroleum Development Company, Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary, has 55 percent stake in the oli mining lease (OML) 11 which it operates on behalf of joint venture partners including federal government, represented by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The Rivers state government recently reopened Shell’s operational base at OML 11 after a meeting with Mele Kyari, the NNPC GMD.

The state government had sealed Shell’s operational base after it claimed to have obtained a certificate of purchase registered in Port Harcourt’s lands registry.

The oil company has been the subject of litigation as communities in the Niger Delta use legal means to seek compensation for land pollution caused by oil spills.

Ben van Beurden, Shell chief executive officer, has also said the company will take a hard look at its operations in Nigeria because of the challenges posed by saboteurs.

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