Company Case Study: Shell Vs. Shell Petroleum Company

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The case below gives a situation where Shell Oil Corporation was sued for human rights violations arising from oil production in Nigeria. This case was a class action in the United States District Court on behalf of the Ogoni people who alleged that the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, Shell Transport and Trading Company, P.L.C., and Shell Petroleum Development Corporation of Nigeria (Inc.) collectively known as “Shell” cooperated with and assisted the Nigerian military in the brutal suppression of the Ogoni people, a Nigerian minority group.
The Ogoni people had demanded that Shell observes proper environmental safeguards and to pay compensation for environmental damages in relation
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The plaintiffs on behalf of the Ogoni people argued that Shell was complicit in the commission of torture and extrajudicial killing pursuant to the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), 1789.
In June 2009, to quell international pressures, a settlement deal was issued by Shell of $ 15.5 million as compensation. The settlement also set up a Trust Fund called The Kiisi Trust for the Ogoni people. The trust was for education, women empowerment, and adult literacy and for the setting of small enterprises.
In light of the compensation issued by Shell, the environmental damage caused by Shell still persists and the Ogoni people still live under poor conditions.
Under the United Nations International covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1996 Article 11 outlines the rights of people to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of their living
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international obligations concerning decommissioning and disposal are primarily imposed on state parties who in turn have the responsibility to ensure that oil producing companies are responsible for decommissioning activities.
This means that failure by oil companies to undertake decommissioning responsibility; the state has the duty to remove any redundant installations left by oil companies which cause pollution or any damage to other people.
For states to avoid taking the liability of oil companies, international obligations require states to put in place mechanisms to ensure oil and gas companies are liable for decommissioning b ensuring hey provide security for decommissioning even before production.
To understand how states may benefit from Responsible decommissioning we need a closer look at the UK as a pioneer model for the decommissioning of disused or abandoned platforms.
The UK Petroleum Act 1998, outlines the process which oil companies undergo during the submitting an abandonment programmes for redundant offshore

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