Allard Castelein
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Shell: 'Sabotage' caused Nigeria oil spills

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has rejected claims by four Nigerian farmers that it should pay compensation for damage to their land.

The farmers are suing the company in a civil court in The Hague, claiming oil spills ruined their livelihoods.

Speaking to the BBC, Shell's vice president for the environment, Allard Castelein, said that most spills were caused by "sabotage and oil theft".

Earlier, Channa Samkalden, lawyer for the Nigerians, told the court that Shell had failed to maintain its pipelines, clean up leaks and prevent pollution.

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