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Supreme Court to Allow Shell to Appeal $1.8 Billion Compensation Over Oil Spill

Nigeria’s Supreme Court has allowed Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) to appeal a ruling that directed it to pay $1.8 billion compensation to locals over an alleged spill, in a dispute that has held back the company’s sale of its onshore assets.

Shell Plc said in June it would pause the disposal of local assets until the court ruled on an appeal brought by its Nigerian arm, SPDC and partner Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) against a lower court judgment.

The Supreme Court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the matter and would hear the substantive case. The court did not immediately set a date for the hearing.

“We believe in the merits of our case and are encouraged that the Nigerian Supreme Court is hearing this matter. We look forward to the hearing of our main appeal,” an SPDC spokesperson told SABC.

The case started with a Federal High Court ruling in November 2020 that ordered Shell to pay 800 billion naira ($1.8 billion) to communities of Egbalor Ebubu in Rivers state, who accused the firm of an oil spill that damaged waterways and farms.

In March, the Appeal Court upheld the judgment and ordered Shell to deposit the money in an account controlled by the court.

Shell had since denied causing the spill

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