The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has agreed a £55million settlement with the Bodo community.
Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary has made the payment in respect of two operational spills in 2008.
The SPDC said the compensation will provide an individual payment for those affected who agree to the settlement payment totalling £35million.
The remaining £20million payment will be made for the benefit of the Bodo community generally.
Mutiu Sunmonu, managing director of SPDC, said: “From the outset, we’ve accepted responsibility for the two deeply regrettable operational spills in Bodo.
“We’ve always wanted to compensate the community fairly and we are pleased to have reached agreement.
“We are fully committed to the clean-up process being overseen by the former Netherlands’ Ambassador to Nigeria.
“Despite delays caused by divisions within the community, we are pleased that clean-up work will soon begin now that a plan has been agreed with the community.
“However, unless real action is taken to end the scourge of oil theft and illegal refining, which remains the main cause of environmental pollution and is the real tragedy of the Niger Delta, areas that are cleaned up will simply become re-impacted through these illegal activities.
“SPDC has made great efforts to raise awareness of the issue with the government of Nigeria, international bodies like the United Nations, the media, civil society and international nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and we will continue to play an active role in the search for solutions.
“We urge all those with influence, including Bodo community leaders and NGO groups, to support this effort.”
In 2008, two oil spills took place on the Bomu-Bonny pipeline in Bodo.
Following an investigation SPDC accepted responsibility and agreed to pay compensation .