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Irish and Dutch NCP close case against Shell-consortium in Ireland

Aug 10, 2010

The Irish NCP, in cooperation with the Dutch NCP have issued their Final Statement on the complaint filed by Pobal Chill Chomain Community against a consortium of oil companies led by Shell. In August 2008 the complainants have filed a complaint against the consortium for health & safety and environmental issues, as well as human rights violations related to the Corrib gas project located in Ireland.

The Irish NCP, in cooperation with the Dutch NCP, conducted an initial assessment and jointly declared the case admissible as a specific instance. Considering the involvement of Statoil and Marathon Oil (later Vermilion) in the consortium the Norwegian, US and later Canadian NCPs were informed about the process. After a failed mediation attempt by the Irish government several talks of the NCPs with the complainants and the consortium, the NCP had to conclude that mediation appeared impossible.

Upon request by the complainants the NCP thus issued a Final Statement on 30 July 2010. As it was beyond the NCPs competence and mandate to draw conclusions on the validity of location of the processing facility, the NCPs Final Statement focused on the issue of due dilligence by the consortium. The NCPs concluded that in the early stages of the project dialogue with stakeholders was not in accordance with the spirit of the Guidelines. However, since 2005 the consortium has improved its practice and has shown willingness to address health and safety concerns. Complainants are disappointed that the NCPs failed to undertake fact finding to consult with residents before coming to this conclusion.

In more general recommendations, the NCPs further recommended that in principle enterprises have a responsibility to respect the rights of people on which their activities have an impact. Companies are therefore expected to exercise due dilligence in the broad sense of the concept and have a responsibility to consider going beyond what is legally required from them when it comes to consulting local communities.

For more information on the case, see the OECD Watch Case Database

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