Shell in Dutch Court Over Oil Pollution Accusations

Platts reported that a legal case brought against Royal Dutch Shell plc’s (LSE:RDSA) Nigerian unit by Friends of the Earth Netherlands and four Nigerian plaintiffs is kicking off in a Dutch court today. The groups have accused Shell and some of its holdings companies of not cleaning up pollution caused by three leaks that occurred from 2004 to 2007.

As quoted in the market news:

It will be the first time that a Dutch company has been brought before a court in the Netherlands to answer for environmental damage caused abroad, [Friends of the Earth Netherlands] said.

“It is also the first time that the headquarters of a multinational concern on the European continent has been summoned to appear in court for environmental or human rights violations in a developing country,” it said.

Shell, in its defense, says that the three spills were caused by sabotage — locals stealing oil from the pipelines — and that the company has cleaned up all of the leaked oil.

A verdict is expected in late 2012 or early 2013.

Click here to read the full Platts report.