Chevron Has Settled Nigerian Villagers That Seek Information On Gas Flaring Harms Earthrights, Nigerian villagers have dismissed a U.S. federal case against Chevron after reaching a confidential settlement with the California oil giant. Using a tactic pioneered by Chevron itself in its long-running Ecuador contamination litigation, the villagers used a U.S. statute to seek records on the environmental impacts of gas flaring on their communities and the penalties that Chevron Nigeria Ltd. (CNL) has paid for conducting this illegal and extremely harmful activity.
The villagers, representatives of five villages in Ugborodo Community in the Niger Delta, sought these records in order to assist with their suit against CNL in Nigerian court. In that case, they allege that CNL is liable for health impacts and environmental harms caused by the highly toxic practice of burning natural gas that comes out of the ground during oil extraction in order to cheaply dispose of it. They seek damages and a stop to the flares.
“Gas flaring is a very serious issue,” said George Ogara, counsel for the plaintiffs in Nigeria. “It is basically an open fire on the people. These fires do not help us; they do not make crops grow or improve our health. In fact, it is the opposite. They destroy both our health and our environment.”
“We sought information to support the Ugborodo community’s lawsuit in Nigeria,” said Richard Herz, Litigation Coordinator for EarthRights International (ERI), which represented the Nigerian in the U.S. suit. “Gas flaring is an illegal and highly destructive practice. We hope that the Nigerian court will finally put a stop to it in the Ugborodo community.” SEE MORE ON PAGE 2