The Shell spokesman said the initial cause of the spillage was accidental
As the standoff between the Shell Petroleum Development Company and local communities in Nigeria's southern state of Rivers entered the fourth day, a Shell's spokesman said Saturday the company had no case to answer, Xinhua agency reported.
The six communities on Tuesday shut the company's flow stations in the area because of the unresolved issue of compensation and clean-up of the December 2003 spillage.
Explaining the circumstances that led to the impasse, Shell's Corporate External Affairs Manager Donald Boham said the attitude of the communities and weather conditions were responsible for the delay in the resolution of the crisis.
The Shell spokesman said the initial cause of the spillage was accidental but the communities set fire on the spill.
"We set out to put out the fire and yet another fire broke out and after this was fought, we went for the assessment and cleaning of the spillage in April, 2004 which was disturbed again till February, 2005," he explained.
"These disturbances were due to sabotage, through deliberate setting of fire," he added.