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Shell should use oil profits to clean environment, critics say - extended

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company, should use its profit to pay for cleaning up environmental damage in Nigeria and eight other countries where it operate, environmental and community groups said.

The Shell Accountability Coalition critics, including green lobby group Friends of the Earth, will publicize their campaign in UK and Dutch newspapers The Guardian and de Volkskrant tomorrow, when Shell reports Q4 earnings. „Shell has made huge profits again and should turn some of this money to cleaning up the mess it made making those profits,” Hannah Griffiths, a Friends of the Earth spokeswoman in London, said in a telephone interview. The coalition published a report listing demands from local community groups. The largest were „at least $10 billion” to clean up oil spills and pay compensation in Nigeria and „around $6 billion” to build an oil refinery in Durban, South Africa, and replace one that locals say causes pollution. Seven other locations mentioned in the report were the Sakhalin oil and gas project in Russia, pipelines in Ireland and Barbados, oil depots in the Philippines and Brazil and refinery pollution in Louisiana and Netherlands Antilles.

„We don't believe the report reflects the reality and the progress that's been made, or that it represents the view of the wider communities surrounding the locations cited,” said Shell spokesman Adam Newton in London. „Shell is committed to being a good neighbor with local communities,” he said, citing progress in replacing old pipelines in Durban and a commitment to ending natural gas flaring in Nigeria by 2009. Shell will probably say quarterly profit excluding oil inventory changes and one-time items fell 3.7% from a year earlier to $5.20 billion, according to the median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. (Bloomberg)