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Vol 45 No 13

Published 25th June 2004


Nigeria

Shell-shocked

Shell is both a victim and a prime cause of the social calamity in the Niger Delta

Last year, the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria, employed consultants to clarify a 'peace and security strategy' for their troubled operations in the Niger Delta oilfields, where Shell is the largest operator. The resulting report, leaked to Bloomberg News, exposes a catalogue of company failures to maintain the trust and confidence of the communities in which it operates. It calls the outcome 'the political economy of war', claiming that Shell is in danger of losing 'its social licence to operate'. Shell must 'do things differently'; spending more money on communities where it operates is more likely to exacerbate conflict. The report's strong and vivid evidence, emerging on the eve of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group's Annual General Meeting . . .

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