In January 2015, Royal Dutch Shell agreed to pay £55m in compensation to thousands of residents of Bodo, a fishing community in the Niger Delta. Their livelihoods had been devastated by two oil spills in 2008-09 that had been caused by corroded Shell pipelines.
After years of high-profile wrangling, the landmark settlement was supposed to draw a line under one of the most toxic reputational issues for the Anglo-Dutch energy giant, and pave the way for the oil blighting the town to finally be cleaned up.
But in Bodo, out of the spotlight in the two years since the case’s apparent resolution, things have not progressed as planned. Though the compensation has been paid, oil still laps on the shoreline of its creeks. The promised clean-up operation has yet to begin.
Although Shell insists some preliminary work did take place soon after the spills - and that the original damage has been compounded by oil from theft and illegal refining - it argues that it has been unable to get the community’s backing to access the site safely and conduct a proper clean-up ever since (The Telegraph).