Nigeria demands $4B for 2011 Shell spill

The Nigerian parliament wants oil company Shell to pay nearly 4 billion dollars (3.2 billion euro) for the damage caused by an oil spill at its offshore oil field in Bonga in December 2011.

This decision by the Nigerian parliament is not binding. The parliament can only recommend fines to the government and does not have the power to enforce them.

This decision follows a report by the Nigerian government agency Nosdra, which investigates oil pollution damage. Nosdra estimates that 40 thousand barrels of oil flowed into the sea at the Bonga spill. The oil field is operated by the Shell subsidiary SNEPCO and produces 200 thousand barrels of oil per day. SNEPCO has been producing at Bonga since 2005. The field is more than 1,000 meters below sea level.

Shell previously indicated that it has taken responsibility for the spill and that the oil has been cleaned up. According to the company, measures have been taken to more quickly find and stop possible leakage.

According to Nosdra, the spill caused an oil slick covering an area of 950 square kilometers. The spill harshly impacted the local population who rely on fishing for their livelihoods.

Shell is increasingly under attack in Nigeria due to oil pollution. Pipelines are often illegally tapped and sabotaged on the Nigerian mainland, which leads to a lot of pollution.

Nigeria is the largest exporter of oil in Africa.