Shell blamed for Nigeria oil spills

May 2, 2011 at 11:36 AM
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LONDON, May 2 (UPI) -- A lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell says the company hasn't responded adequately to rampant oil spills in parts of the country.

The Bodo community in Nigeria filed a class-action lawsuit in London for an oil spill in the Niger Delta. The community blames Shell for many of the oil spills in the region.

Oil companies aren't moving into the region to address the spills because of frequent attacks from militant groups like the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

The Bodo suit involves a leak believed to be from an oil pipeline that dumped crude oil into the Bodo creek for about four months in summer 2008. Shell said it didn't know of the problem for several months, The Telegraph newspaper in London reports.

Nenibarini Zabbey, a researcher at Nigeria's Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development, told the newspaper Shell officials arrived in the area in 2009 with meager food aid that the Bodo community found "insulting."

Shell and other oil companies working in Nigeria blame sabotage oil bandits like MEND for many spills.

The United Nations estimated that at least 6,800 oil spills occurred in the area from 1976-2001.

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