Shell faced Dutch lawmakers at The Hague to answer questions about their safety record in Nigeria. Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth International announced they had filed formal complaints with the British and Dutch governments over Shell's failure to take responsibility for the majority of the oil pollution in the region.
Shell executives said Nigerian militants were responsible for more than half of the oil spills in the Niger Delta. They said they would pay for damages caused by pipeline corrosion and other issues but not for sabotage, London's The Daily Telegraph newspaper reports.
"When it comes to issues of the safety of people and crime, it's the responsibility of the government," Peter de Wit, director of Shell Netherlands, was quoted as saying. "That's not happening. But you can't lay it on our doorstep."
Shell said it would appeal a $100 million fine from a Nigerian court ruling on a 40-year-old oil spill.
The advocacy groups said Shell in the 1990s took responsibility for much of the oil pollution in the Niger Delta.