Bonga spill: Shell faults govt over legal action

Mkpoikana Udoma 25 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCo, has reiterated that the 2011 Bonga oil spill which allegedly affected 285,000 people in 350 communities in Delta and Bayelsa states was effectively contained and cleaned up.

ShellRecall that the Federal Government recently initiated a legal action against S NEPCo over the December 20, 2011 spill.

The legal action, filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja, has the consent of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, A. A. Malami SAN, and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA. It is demanding a N1.3 trillion compensation from SNEPCo for the affected communities.

But, a Shell spokesman, Mr. Joseph Obari,  said: “We are aware of this suit and we will respond in accordance with our rights under the law. We reiterate that the Bonga spill was effectively contained and cleaned up as a result of efforts by SNEPCo, regulators and other industry resources from within and outside Nigeria coupled with the effects of natural dispersion and evaporation.

“It is important to recall that, as SNEPCo’s work to clean up the Bonga oil spill offshore was coming to a successful end, a suspected third-party oil spill was observed approximately 100 kilometres away from the Bonga facility in areas close to Forcados shore.

“Though this spill did not emanate from Bonga, SNEPCo took prompt action to assist with the dispersion and clean-up to minimise any adverse impact on the environment and communities.”

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