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UPDATE 1-Environmentalists, Nigerians plan to sue Shell


Wed Nov 5, 2008 2:48pm ES

(Adds Shell comment)

AMSTERDAM, Nov 5 (Reuters) – The environment group Friends of the Earth Netherlands and four Nigerians said they plan to sue Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: QuoteProfile,ResearchStock Buzz) in a Dutch court on charges of negligence related to oil spills in Nigeria.

“New investigation shows that the villages of the Nigerian plaintiffs have been heavily polluted and that Shell has not adhered to international standards for ‘good oil field practice’ in Nigeria,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

The group said Shell (RDSa.AS: Quote,ProfileResearchStock Buzz) had the authority and the control to ensure oil spills are prevented and are cleaned up.

A Shell spokesman said the company was not in a position to respond as it had not received any summons.

Friends of the Earth Nigeria said it hoped the intended lawsuit would get some results.

“Shell hardly notices Nigerian court orders. We want a Dutch court to ensure that justice is done against Royal Dutch Shell,” said Nnimmo Bassey, director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

The environmentalists said the Nigerian plaintiffs were fishermen and farmers from the oil-rich Niger Delta area who had suffered from the effects of oil spills related to Shell’s oil operations.

They will file the lawsuit on Friday.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Richard Hubbard and John Wallace)


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