Shell and Nigeria

Chris Burford cburford at
Sun Nov 12 14:58:43 MST 1995

The London-based Observer carries an article on its front page

Shell fuels outrage over Saro-Wiwa with $4 billion Nigerian gas deal


"Shell is to sign a $4 billion deal with Nigeria this week for a huge
new natural gas plant, despite world outrage and the threat of trade
sanctions over the execution of the Ogoni playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa
and Nigeria's suspension from the Commonwealth."

"Six Shell petrol stations in Britain have been hit by protests at
Saro-Wiwa's hanging. One, near Newbury, Berkshire, was closed yesterday
after protesters climbed onto the roof."

"Shell, Nigeria's leading partner in oil production and the only company
in Ogoniland until it was forced out in 1993, is planning a 24% share
in the new liquefied gas plant in Bonny, Nigeria, to open in 1999.
Agreements are expected to be signed in London on Wednesday.

"Last week the IFC, part of the World Bank, pulled out of the planned deal
because of the threatened execution of Saro-Wiwa. Yesterday a Shell
spokesman refused to comment and referred callers to a separate number
for Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas, where there was no reply.

"Shell, the leading player in trade between Britain and Nigeria
extracts about half of the country's oil production. It already owns
a 30% stake in a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum

"The company's production of about 300,000 barrels a day is about 14% of
Shell's worldwide production of crude oil. However the company
claims that, even at full capacity, Ogoniland produced about 28,000
barrels a day, only about 3 per cent of Nigeria's total oil flow.

"Saro-Wiwa's son, Ken Wiwa, is due back in London from Auckland
today and is expected to make a powerful plea for international sanctions.

[and to] "call today for a new 'strategic alliance' of campaign groups
to press for boycotts and sanctions against Nigeria."

"Peter Melchett, chairman of Greenpeace UK, which with Body Shop has led
the British campaign for Ogoni rights, said economic sanctions should be
applied immediately."

Chris Burford, London.

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