In Court

  • 14/12/2005

flare-down: The burning of natural gas by oil firms in the Niger Delta violates the human rights of local people and should be stopped immediately, ruled the high court of Benin City in Nigeria. The ruling was issued in a case filed by the Iwerekan community of Delta State against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp, the state oil company, and Shell Development Petroleum Corporation, which controls nearly half of the country's oil production capacity. The companies immediately appealed the order. If the case stands, it could open the way for residents of the oil-rich delta to sue over other matters. Gas is flared in the delta because of a lack of facilities to exploit the resource commercially. Giant orange flares burn round the clock in the vast region of mangrove swamps and creeks, close to villagers' homes, causing explosions, constant noise and great heat.

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