Snepco (Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company), a branch of the Anglo-Dutch multinational company Royal Dutch Shell will have to pay Nigeria a US $5 billion fine for environmental damage. This has been reported today by Nigerian media, which gave an account of a hearing before the House of representatives Committee on Environment by NOSDRA (the public agency in charge with monitoring environmental violations in the oil sector) Director General.
The events which Shell was charged with took place on December 20, 2011 when an oil spill of at least 40.00 barrels of crude took place in the offshore Bonga oil field, far from the seashore of the Delta region, as the company itself declared.
Heard by the Nigerian daily “Vanguard”, Shell spokesman in Nigeria, tony Okonedo said that “there is not any basis for such a fine and Snepco has not committed any infraction”.
On the other hand, according to Nosdra, despite immediate containment measures were put in place, the oil spill impacterd on 950 square kilometres of water surface with a serious impact on environment.
The Bonga oil field is among the most important in the Niger Delta. It has an oil producyion of 200.000 barrels-per-day, around one tenth of the entire Nigerian oil production.