Acrobat Reader is needed to access the Harvard Business School file below. Please be patient when downloading as the file contain multiple pages. (To download a FREE Acrobat Reader click on the adobe link): Archive: Harvard Business School Document (April 2000): Royal Dutch/Shell in Nigeria: READ

Click link immediately below to access SPECIAL FEATURE FOCUSED ON BBC2 Newsnight programme broadcast on 15 November 2004 entitled "Oil gangs threaten Nigerian unity"

BBC2 TV “Newsnight”: Oil gangs threaten Nigerian unity: “The Niger Delta is, effectively, America's reserve fuel tank. If the Delta conflict spirals out of control, it could destroy Nigeria's unity and disrupt the global balance of oil supply. That is the doomsday scenario - and completely avoidable according to experts in conflict resolution.": “A report for the oil company Shell explains the role of the armed gangs at local level in the elections of 2003": "With the return of democracy... these groups became even more prominent as local politicians and parties supplied youth groups with money, weapons and political/legal immunity... in the run up to elections. "Once elections were over, these rewards were not forthcoming. Rather than returning weapons, these groups engage themselves in a range of criminal activities." (Peace and Security in the Niger Delta, WAC Global Services, December 2003) ( Posted 17 Nov 04


Related BBC News Article

BBC News: Shell admits fuelling corruption 12 June 2004

Financial Times: “Royal Dutch/Shell faces a ‘high intensity conflict’ in Nigeria's Niger Delta as severe as those in Chechnya and Colombia: 14 June 2004

The Wall Street Journal: Nigerian Troops Raid Oil Delta Village; 6 Killed: 14 June 2004

Related Radio Netherlands Article

Radio Netherlands: Oil and Ethics: 15 June 2004

Related FT Article

Financial Times: LEADER: Delta blues: "Nigeria is probably the most graphic example of the "oil curse", the link between oil and corruption, conflict and poverty in developing countries": 15 June 2004

Related allAfrica Article Shell's Oily Troubles: "most Nigerians are not swayed by Shell's new desperate public relations stunt": 15 June 2004

Related Reuters Article:

Reuters: “Leaked” Report says Shell actions feed Nigeria violence: “corporate behaviour of Royal Dutch/Shell in Nigeria feeds a vicious cycle of violence and corruption" 13 June 2004

The Observer: Revealed: How Shell's desperate thirst for oil is devastating Nigeria 13 June 2004

NUOS INT’L: Shell threatens the followers of Ken Saro-Wiwa with secret agents and subpoena: 17 June 2004 Shell confirms oil spill in south-eastern Nigeria state: 17 June 2004 Community Demands $750m Compensation From Shell: 19 June 2004 Shell workers in Nigeria walk off job in 'warning strike' to avert job cuts: 22 June 2004

Friends of the Earth: Behind the Shine - the Real Impacts of Shell's Work Around the World: 23 JUne 2004

The Scotsman: Oil Giant Accused of Environmental 'Abuse': 23 June 2004

BBC News: Polluting Nigeria: 23 June 2004

The Guardian: FoE says Shell fails own green pledge: 23 June 2004

The Guardian: Flare-up over Shell's 'double standards': "Shell... had exaggerated its social and environmental performance in the same way as it had overstated its oil and gas reserves": 24 June 2004

ThisIsLondon: Friends of the Earth target Shell: 24 June 2004 Shell repeats commitment to end Nigeria gas flaring by 2008: 28 June 2004

The Observer: British firms escape abuse lawsuits: “One of the allegations that is still likely to get a hearing is a high-profile case against Shell that claims that the oil giant colluded in Nigeria's brutal oppression of Ogoni villagers": 4 July 2004

Business Report: Shell unit pays $1.86bn taxes to Nigerian state: “Last year Shell reduced part of its production in western Niger Delta, following the escalation of ethnic conflict in the area": 6 July 2004 

The New York Times: Union Protest Stops Deliveries of Total's Oil From Nigeria: “Violence around the city of Warri in March 2003 forced the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, ChevronTexaco and Total to halt 37 percent of Nigeria's output for two weeks.": 7 July 2004 JV partners put major oil, gas projects on hold: “Shell alone had planned to spend $2.7 billion for its oil and gas projects but cut to $2.3 billion: 7 July 2004

The Wall Street Journal: Total Resumes Nigeria Production; 5 Top Jobs To Nigerians: “Similar disputes were simmering Thursday in Shell": 9 July 2004

Financial Times: Militiamen 'reclaim' oil for Nigerians in struggle for rights: “led consultants commissioned by Royal Dutch/Shell to compare the Delta's level of violence to the turmoil in Chechnya and Colombia.": 13 July 2004

Los Angeles Times: Militiamen 'Reclaim' Oil for Nigerians: “consultants commissioned by Royal Dutch/Shell Group… compare the Delta's level of violence to the turmoil in Chechnya and Colombia.": 19 July 2004 Ethnic Militia: Niger-Delta Youths Denounce Warlord: 19 July 2004

ThisDayOnline: Shell Appoints First Nigerian MD: 20 July 2004

BBC News: Shell names first Nigerian boss: 20 July 2004

Houston Chronicle: Nigerian picked to head division: “analysts said was a bid to appease Nigerian unions and ethnic groups threatening production shutdowns": 21 July 2004

Financial Times: Nigerian lands Shell post in west Africa: “The company is struggling to come to grips with its role in the civil unrest that plagues many of the country's oil producing regions.": 21 July 2004

The Guardian: Nigerianisation: Shell's solution for troubled delta: “The reserves scandal that led to Sir Philip's removal in part related to Nigeria": 20 July 2004 Shell Won't Leave Nigeria - MD: 27 July 2004

FT: Settling the bill but not the issues: “companies also tend to look to their more reputable peers, of which Shell used to be one. This is no longer the case.”: “whether a management that lied to its biggest shareholders would have any compunction doing the same to Nigerian villagers.": 30 July 2004

ThisDayOnline:Toxic Waste: Group Demands N200m Compensation from Shell: “The once beautiful land is no longer a source of fresh air and green vegetation. All one sees and feels now is death.": 3 August 2004

The Wall Street Journal: Nigeria Eyes Pipeline To Replace FPSOs –Regulator: “"West Africa has a rich history of under reportage of lifted volumes by oil companies": 4 August 2004 Omiyi: Homeboy At Shell: “The Anglo-Dutch oil firm is reportedly undergoing a far-reaching global reorganisation to strengthen the values of honesty, integrity and respect for people.": 6 August 2004

The New York Times: Nigerian Oil Industry Reels Amid Fighting: “Royal Dutch/Shell, Nigeria's largest oil operation which produces half of the 2.5 million barrels Nigeria's exports daily, also is reeling.": 9 August 2004

The Wall Street Journal: Shell Targets 174,000 B/D From Dormant Nigerian Wells: 12 August 2004 (Nigeria): Violence: MOSOP Blames Shell, Police: “accusing Shell of paying for a disastrous set of interventions which breach the basic standards of police and corporate conduct."; 22 August 2004

Financial Times: Nigeria gas consortium 'evasive', says probe chief: 23 August 2004

The Independent: Shell hit by $1.5bn oil pollution claim from Nigerian Senate: “Shell was linked by international campaigners to the military government of Sani Abacha, which executed a delta activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.": 26 August 2004

Daily Telegraph: Nigeria hits Shell with $1.5bn bill: “Shell and Nigeria's state oil company would ultimately be forced to increase environmental spending in the country.": 26 August 2004

The Guardian: Shell hit by $1.5bn Nigeria spill claim Senate: action on pollution adds to damage from reserves scandal; 26 August 2004

Financial Times: R Dutch/Shell told to pay compensation: “Nigeria accounts for about 10 per cent of Shell's production but the company's position is seen as increasingly precarious": 26 August 2004

Vanguard: Shell EP Africa leadership to comprise 30% Nigerians...New SPDC DMD appointed: "challenging security situation in the Niger Delta as well as the rising incidence of crude oil theft, currently put at 50,000 per day.": 31 August 2004 Shell Plans $9bn Five-Year Investment: "Coming at a time when there was some speculation about Shell's future in Nigeria, this development is a resounding demonstration of Shell's long-term commitment…": 31 August 2004 $1.5bn Compensation: Shell to Sue Senate: "SHELL Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria Limited may take the National Assembly to court if the Senate forces it to pay $1.5 billion compensation to Ijaw communities for alleged environmental degradation.": 1 September 2004

Related article in The Guardian:

The Guardian: Oiling the wheels of death: Katharine Houreld reports on the trade in stolen oil in Nigeria, where the stakes are high and corruption is rife: “Mutiu Sunomu, Shell's production manager, says that up to 60,000 barrels of the company's crude is stolen a day. Although he denies that the company tolerates such theft, which often profits powerful local leaders, he accepts that "it is strange that the thieves seem so familiar with our asset base [of pipelines and wellheads]". ( 17 Nov 04

Related article in Vanguard (Lagos): (Vanguard; Lagos): Wabara Orders Shell to Pay N210b Compensation Or Quit: “SENATE President, Chief Adolphus Wabara, yesterday asked multinational oil giant, Shell, to pay the N210 billion ($1.5 billion) compensatory damages awarded against it to Ijaw of Bayelsa State or leave the country.”: “Chief Wabara at two different occasions yesterday warned that no company no matter how big should regard itself above the laws of the federation.”: “Affirming that the award was necessary to heed off violence in the Niger Delta area, Senator Wabara said: "If Shell is becoming too large or too big to obey our laws they should try other countries. If they disrespect the resolution of the National Assembly, then they have no business in Nigeria." ( 17 Nov 04

Related commentary by Shell: Emmanuel Etomi, Sustainable Community Development Manager for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) reports on a new approach to help reduce conflict in the troubled Niger Delta. ( Posted 17 Nov 04

Related commentary by BBC “Newsnight”: Oil Gangs Threaten Nigerian unity: "So on one hand we have the Ogoni living in utter destitution in a despoiled land which has immense oil and gas resources. On the other, the ruthless Shell fat cats responsible in large part for their evil exploitation and wicked oppression honoured with titles and showered with riches. It is a monumental injustice and should be a source of shame for all investors/stakeholders in the Royal Dutch/Shell Group." 17 November 2004 PENGASSAN, NUPENG Ask Court to Dismiss Shell Suit: “THE Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, to dismiss the suits brought against them by Shell Petroleum Development Company…”: “Shell is seeking to restrain its workers, under the aegis of PENGASSAN and NUPENG from embarking on a strike action…” ( Posted 20 Nov 04

The New York Times: Blood Flows With Oil in Poor Nigerian Villages: "This region is synonymous with oil, but also with unbelievable poverty,": ""The world depends on their oil, but for the people of the Niger Delta oil is more of a curse than a blessing.": Human rights and environmental groups have long criticized the practices of Shell, the oldest and largest of Nigeria's oil producers. As a result of a stinging internal report in 2003 that said Shell, whether intentionally or not, "creates, feeds into or exacerbates conflict..." Sunday 1 January 2006: READ

The Globe & Mail (Canada): The slippery trail of Nigeria's black gold: “While millions of dollars worth of oil and natural gas are pumped every single day, the great majority of people still live in grim poverty.”: “…it is Shell that tends to be the focus of debate, a sort of shorthand for the industry as a whole because it was Shell that worked in the region called Ogoniland, where Mr. Saro-Wiwa first drew international attention to the practices of the oil companies, and because Shell has the biggest onshore presence (97 operating fields and 6,200 kilometres of pipeline).”: Posted Sunday 1 January 2006: READ

On September 20, 2002, fourteen individual plaintiffs including Mr Charles Wiwa, the nephew of the late Nobel Prize Laureate, Mr Ken Saro-Wiwa, filed a class action complaint against Royal Dutch Petroleum and Shell Transport, p.l.c., ("Shell") in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York charging violations of customary international law under the federal Alien Tort Claims Act relating to Shell’s oil operations in Ogoniland, an area located in the Niger River delta area of Nigeria.

Click here to access the Class Action Complaint:

A Judge decided earlier this year that the plaintiffs case had sufficient merit to proceed and as a result Sir Philip Watts and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart were deposed in the UK in April 2004.

Some related newspaper reports are accessible below.

Mail on Sunday: Shell chief 'had a private army'

Daily Times: Shell's corrupt shell game in Nigeria

The Observer: UK firms face lawsuits as Watts quits ICC post

London Evening Standard: Shell facing court over 'rights abuses'

The Independent: Shell faces human rights grilling

Reuters: “Leaked” Report says Shell actions feed Nigeria violence: “corporate behaviour of Royal Dutch/Shell in Nigeria feeds a vicious cycle of violence and corruption” Questions due on human rights lawsuits

SwissInfor.Org: Ex-Shell head to face Nigeria case questions Shell short of friends? look who's buying

London Evening Standard: Sir Philip to be quizzed over Nigeria

Related Paper by Alfred Donovan presented at the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS International, USA) Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska, held on 26/27 June 2004

*Extract from the Convention Paper: THE OPPRESSION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE OGONI PEOPLE: I was stationed in Palestine in the 1930’s. I regret to say that the Arabs were treated with distain and generally viewed as being second class citizens in their own Countries. How things have changed. The Arabs were sitting on top of the worlds largest oil reserves. Quite correctly, citizens in the oil rich Arab nations have benefited from their own natural resources and are now among the wealthiest people in the world. They have considerable power, influence and respect. It is impossible to reconcile that situation with what has happened in Nigeria where the population has been oppressed and exploited by Shell and successive Nigerian regimes and Ogoniland has been subjected to long term ecological degradation. While the Ogoni people sit on top of oil fields, but remain abysmally poor, Sir Philip Watts sits on an $18 million (US dollar) pension pot. It is simply obscene and indefensible. After yet another document meant for consumption solely by Shell management was leaked to the press in mid June, Shell was forced to admit that its actions in Nigeria fed “a vicious cycle of violence and corruption”. Under the circumstances, it speaks volumes for the Ogoni people have not resorted to violence, but are pursuing a legal peaceful campaign to right a monumental injustice.

Email from Mr Charles Wiwa, nephew of the late Nobel Laureate Ken Saro-Wiwa 7 July 04

Reuters: NIGERIA: Obasanjo appoints independent mediators to reconcile Shell and local Ogoni community: “Angry and violent Ogoni protests inspired by the campaigns of MOSOP under the leadership of writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, forced Shell to shut down its oil wells in Ogoniland, in January 1993. The wells had produced 28,000 barrels of crude a day.” ( Posted 2 June 05

The Independent (UK): Shell opens talks about a return to Nigeria's troubled Ogoni region: “More than 12 years since it fled the Nigerian region of Ogoni in fear at the growing violence towards its operations from the local population, oil giant Shell has reopened talks with the people of the Ogoni about a possible return.”: “The conflict reached one of its darkest moments in 1995, when Ken Saro Wiwa, who led Mosop, was executed by the military dictatorship. ( 1 June 05

From The Observer (UK): It just won't work: By Ken Wiwa: “It will be 10 years in November since my father was murdered for daring to expose the complicity between Shell and the Nigerian military dictatorship to exploit the oil reserves of my Ogoni community.”: “Only last year, Shell admitted putting a false prospectus to investors…“: Posted Monday, 13 June 2005: Read the article


21 July, 2000

Radio Netherlands: Shell On Shaky Foundation

17 June, 2001

MI6 'Firm' Spied on Green Groups (Sunday Times archive article 17 June 2001)

28 July, 2001 Shell under pressure over Ogoniland

11 August, 2001 Brazilian police accuse Shell of eco-crime

8 September, 2001 Shell contests Brazil toxic site report

1 October, 2001 Oil Giant Could Do Better in Nigeria: “where the contrast between the region's poverty and its mineral wealth has fuelled unrest”

28 December, 2001

Radio Netherlands: Shell & The Ogoni People?

28 February, 2002

Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell):
United States District Judge rules case can proceed under the Alien Tort Claims Act, the Torture Victim Protection Act and RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.

Click here for HOME PAGE