Shell Could Face $5 Billion Fine

Photo of Daniel Horowitz

According to an article from the Dow Jones Newswires, Royal Dutch Shell PLC could face a record $5 billion fine from Nigerian authorities. The proposed fine follows an oil spill off the coast of Nigeria last year. Approximately 40,000 barrels of oil leaked at Shell’s Bonga offshore facility. Shell is pushing back hard against the proposed fine saying it amounts to around $125,000 a barrel. In comparison to the fines BP could face in America from the Deepwater Horizon spill, the fine Shell is facing is nearly 100 times greater/barrel spilled.

The fine will ultimately have to be approved by Nigerian lawmakers. On Monday, lawmakers heard from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency on what they believed an appropriate penalty would be. Mr. Idabor, with NOSDRA, defended the recommendation of such a large fine, saying the $5 billion penalty was consistent with similar fines in other oil producing countries.

Shell was forced to halt production from the 200,000 barrel-a-day Bonga field in December after a leak occurred during a routine tanker loading operation. The result was one of Nigeria’s worst oil spills in more than a decade. Shell claims that none of the crude reached land and that much of the leaked oil dispersed naturally in the water or evaporated. However, reports indicated that some crude washed up along the Western Niger Delta coastline.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an oil spill, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211.