Royal Dutch Shell agreed Wednesday to pay the Bodo community of Nigeria $83 million to settle two “highly regrettable” 2008 pipeline spills.
The settlement ends a three year legal battle between Shell and 15,600 Nigerians from the Bodo community in Ogoniland.
The Anglo-Dutch supermajor will pay $52.94 million to compensate individual claimants and will make a $30.25 million payment “for the benefit of the Bodo community.”
The agreement will settle claims connected to two oil spills that occurred at the Bomu-Bonny Pipeline in late 2008.
Shell claims the spills were caused by thieves breaking into the 180,000 barrel per day arm of the Shell operated Trans Niger Pipeline.
A joint investigation conducted by Shell Nigeria in partnership with the Bodo community and government agencies concluded that about 4,000 barrels of oil were spilled during the incidents.
In November, Amnesty International claimed that the spill may have been as large as 100,000 barrels within a 35 square mile area after performing its own investigation into the matter.
The company said cleanup work at the sites will begin soon.
“From the outset, we’ve accepted responsibility for the two deeply regrettable operational spills in Bodo. We’ve always wanted to compensate the community fairly and we are pleased to have reached agreement,” Shell’s Nigerian unit managing director Mutiu Sunmonu said.