Court Stops Shell’s Plans to Sell Assets in Nigeria Pending $2Bln Appeal

Shell has been ordered not to sell any assets in Nigeria until a decision is made on the company’s appeal of a nearly $2 billion fine for an alleged oil spill.

In the March 11 ruling, the court also ordered Shell to deposit the money in an account it controlled within two working days.

Shell’s Nigerian unit announced that it would immediately appeal the decision.

Until the appeal is decided, Shell, acting through its agents and subsidiaries, is prohibited from selling, allocating, vandalizing or disposing of any of its assets or properties.

Shell’s appeal hearing is set to begin on May 5.

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“We are disappointed at this outcome. We have a strong belief in the merit of our case and will take immediate steps under the law to appeal and stay the execution of the decision until the appeal is determined,” Shell said.

As a result of an oil spill that damaged farms and waterways, the Federal High Court of Nigeria in November 2020 ordered Shell to pay N800 billion ($1.9 billion) to 88 communities of Egbalor Ebubu in Rivers state.

The company appealed the verdict, denying it caused the spill.

The company began discussions with the government of Nigeria last year about selling its stake in Nigeria’s onshore fields, where it has operated since the 1930s, to reduce its carbon footprint.

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Over the past decade, the company, the largest international oil company operating in Nigeria, has been sued repeatedly for oil spills.

Shell agreed to pay an oil spill case involving a Nigerian community $111.68 million as part of a settlement last year.

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