Nigerian farmers sue Shell for environmental degradation in Dutch court
Shell’s local subsidiary remains the top foreign oil producer in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta, a region of mangroves and swamps about the size of Portugal. Its production forms the backbone of crude production in Nigeria, a top supplier to the gasoline-thirsty U.S.
Shell, which discovered and started the country’s oil well in the late 1950s, remains demonized by activists and local communities over oil spills and close ties to government security forces. Some Shell pipelines that crisscross the delta are decades old and can fail, causing massive pollution.
Shell, however, has begun an effort in the last decade to build clinics, roads and even natural gas power plants for the region. The company blames most spills now on thieves who tap into crude oil pipelines to steal oil.
A judgment in the case is expected late this year or early in 2013.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press