$3.6bn Bonga Oil Spill Fine By NOSDRA Not Binding-Shell


By Amos Okioma
LAGOS NOVEMBER 28TH (NEWSRANGERS)-The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) operator of the Bonga oil field says the court judgment on the $3.6bn fine for the Dec.20, 2011 oil spill is not binding on it.
Shell had approached the courts to challenge the powers of National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to impose fines on it.

Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, Media Relations Manager at Shell said in a statement on Tuesday that the judgment merely clarified that NOSDRA had powers to impose fine but did not compel it to pay the fine.
“The December 20, 2011 Bonga spill was a regrettable operational incident that was effectively contained and cleaned up as a result of efforts by SNEPCo, regulators and other industry resources from within and outside Nigeria.
“There is no decision of any court requiring SNEPCo to make any monetary payment.
“SNEPCo has filed an appeal against the judgments which is contrary to previous judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal that NOSDRA does not have the powers to assess and or impose compensations or fines in respect of oil spills.
“The judgment was in respect of the powers of NOSDRA to impose fines and there is no decision of any court requiring SNEPCo to make any monetary payment as a result of the spill,” Odugbesan said..
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Lagos Federal High Court, on June 20, upheld the $3.6 billion fine imposed on Shell by NOSDRA dismissing Shell’s case
Following the Dec. 20, 2011 spill, NOSDRA in March 2015, imposed a $3.6 billion fine on Shell for discharging 40,000 barrels of crude into the Atlantic Ocean.
The fine comprised $1.8 billion as compensation for the damage to the natural resources and consequential loss of income by the affected shoreline communities as well as a punitive damage of $1.8 billion.
It will recalled that on Dec. 20, 2011, during loading of crude at Bonga fields within OML 118 situated 120 kilometres off the Atlantic coastline, the export line ruptured and discharged crude into the sea.
The export line, according to a joint investigation report by NOSDRA and SNEPCO spewed about 40,000 barrels (6.4 million litres) of crude oil into the sea.

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