Port Harcourt — The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, says they are disappointed that the Appeal Court in the Hague, Netherlands found them liable for the oil spills in Goi and Oruma communities in the Niger Delta.
This is as the Dutch Court, yesterday, held the Royal Dutch Shell (parent company of SPDC) as well as the SPDC, liable to to pay compensation for oil spills in Goi Community, Gokana LGA of Rivers State, and in Oruma community in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.
The Dutch Court also ruled that Shell must do more to prevent further spills, including better maintenance of the pipelines; in a suit which began since 2008, seeking for justice over oil spills from SPDC facilities, which destroyed farmlands, schools, rivers, commerical fish ponds, food crops and a bakery, in 2004 and 2006, respectively.
Reacting to the Court judgement, the management of SPDC, explained that the said spills which occured over a decade ago in Goi and Oruma communities, were caused by sabotage.
Media Relations Manager, SPDC, Bamidele Odugbesan, said oil theft and sabotage in the Niger Delta were major challenges facing the company, as 95percent of her spill incidents in 2019 alone were caused by third party interference.
Odugbesan maintained that the company remains committed to protecting the environment and safe operations, just like it was obtainable in all its ventures around the world.
“We continue to believe that the spills in Oruma and Goi were the result of sabotage. We are therefore disappointed that this court has made a different finding on the cause of these spills and in its finding that SPDC is liable.
“Sabotage, crude oil theft and illegal refining are a major challenge in the Niger Delta. Indeed in 2019 around 95% of spill incidents from our operations there were due to such criminal acts.
“Regardless of cause, we clean up and remediate, as we have done with the spills in this case. SPDC also works with a range of stakeholders to find solutions to these complex issues.
“Like all Shell-operated ventures globally, we are committed to operating safely and protecting the local environment.”