Niger delta communities hit by spills from Shell crude oil pipelines five years ago rejected an offer of compensation to settle the case.
The dispute is now likely to be decided by a London court, the Guardian said Friday.
Claimants include 11,000 fishermen and others from Nigeria’s Bodo community.
A Shell-operated trans-Niger pipeline burst twice in 2008.
The Guardian said Shell offered £30 million overall, or about £1,100 per claimant.
A lawyer with a UK law firm representing the claimants said Shell’s offer was rejected unanimously at a large public meeting in Bodo, Nigeria.
Shell’s negotiating team from London included a barrister, a QC and other legal experts.
A Shell representative said: “We have an interest in sensible and fair compensation being paid quickly to those who have been genuinely impacted by these highly regrettable spills.”