THE SERIES ON HOW THE SHELL GROUP UNDER- DEVELOP THE NIGER-DELTA (10)

A NOTIFICATION OF SANCTION IN RESPECT OF THE BONGA OIL SPILL.
Please recall the oil spill incident at your company’s Bonga oil field on the 20th Dec. 2011 wherein not less than 40,000 barrels of crude oil was spilled into the marine Environment as a result of equipment failure resulting from snapped loading hose underwater while loading.
(2) Having carefully examined the cause of the spill and the report of the Damaged Assessment including the enormity of the devastation and degradation of the marine environment occaisioned, the Agency in line with its mandate is unavoidably constrained to hold your company liable for the Damage caused by the oil spillage to ecological and human services.
(3) In the light of the forgoing, you are hereby notified that your company has been levied to pay the sum of $1,800,095,602.00 Billion as compensation for the damage done to natural resources and consequential loss of income by the affected shoreline communities in line with the damage assessment report conducted by the agency through an independent consultant of Estate Valuers. The Agency has also imposed punitive damage in the like sum to be paid to the federal government, both totalling $3,600,191,206 Billion.
(4) WE DEMAND that the sum of $3,600,191,206 Billion or its equivalent in Naira as compensation and punitive damage should be remitted by your company to the agency forthwith within (14) days alongside the administrative costs and fees of the consultants engaged to carry out the assessment being 10% of the assessed damage from the date of the receipt of this letter.
(5) Please note that steps will be taken to compel your company to comply with this directive after the timeline given in the above paragraph lapses.
We sincerely hope that this letter will be acted upon with the seriousness expected of an establishment of your repute in the petroleum industry bearing in mind that resolutions of the House of Representative committee on Environment in respect of the Bonga oil spill are in tandem with the agency’s position.
Sir Peter Idabor
Director
General/Chief Executive.
National oil spill Detection and Response Agency.
The Director General/ Chief Executive National oil spill Detection and Response Agency NAIC Building 5th Floor, Zone AQ Central Area, Garki Abuja. 30th Dec. 2014
Your ref: NOSDRA/OFA/131/VOL.VI/409
OUR ref: SNEPCO-LEG-2014-0012L.
Dear Sir,
Re: Notification of sanction in respect of the Bonga Spill.
We refer to your letter NOSDRA/OFA/131/VOL. VI/409 dated 19th of December 2014, was sent via email to the undersigned on Friday 19th December 2014, demanding the payment of the sum of $3.6bln as levy/compensation and “punitive damage” and an additional 10% of the amount as administrative fees, from SNEPCO in respect of the Bonga spill.
Please recall that with the support and involvement of relevant government agencies including NOSDRA, Bonga oil spill of December 2011 was effectively contained and cleaned up in record time with concerted efforts of people and resources from within and outside Nigeria.
As you are also aware, another spill(“mystery spill”) was observed about a 100┬ákm away from Bonga facility as SNEPCO was concluding the clean- up of the Bonga spill, which mystery spill SNEPCO cleaned up as a responsible corporate organization.
SNEPCO subsequently received several claims from various people/ communities and organizations claiming and/ or demanding payment for compensation for alleged impact of Bonga spill/ the mystery spill.
Apart from the above, there are currently several suits in court by various people claiming compensation in respect of Bonga spill. As these matters are subjudice, we do not consider it prudent to take any step that could interfere with the due process of Law and the constitutional powers of the courts or prejudice our position.
Notwithstanding the forgoing, SNEPCO as a responsive and responsible corporate citizen is currently working with a multi- stakeholder committee to provide relief materials and palliatives for identified communities.
We wish to state that SNEPCO is a responsible and Law abiding company which strives to abide by the laws governing its operations. Given the Circumstances and the rapid clean up of the Bonga spill, SNEPCO does not accept that the Bonga spill caused damage requiring the payment of compensation, as the law only requires payment of compensation, for actual impact and damage suffered. SNEPCO also does not have any Liability or obligation whatsoever to pay any compensation to any individual or community in respect of the aforesaid mystery spill. In the light of the above, we are unable to accede to this demand.
Finally, we note your stated intention to “compel” payment. We are confident that NOSDRA being a creation of law, will allow the rule of law to take its natural course by acting within the ambits of the law which established it.
Yours faithfully,
Shell Nigeria Exploration and production company limited.
Tony Attah
Managing Director.
This series is from the stable of the oil spill victims vanguard a non- governmental organization(NGO) incorporated with the corporate affairs commission, OSPIVV is an initiative whose main object is dedicated to fight for compensation for victims of oil spill, health hazards of gas flaring, transparency and accountability in the Extractive industries in Nigeria.
HARRISON JALLA
Executive Director OSPIVV.

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