There is no denying that natural resource governance in a weak state results in transnational oil corporations neglecting or watering down lax environmental laws. In Nigeria’s Niger Delta oil companies such as Texaco, Chevron, Elf, Eni and Shell are extracting oil and gas with corporate impunity resulting in catastrophic environmental degradation and gross human rights violations.

Pressure from civil society for reform in the oil sector to bring the corporations in line with an international bench mark are met with stiff opposition and collusion by the state and the oil companies to sidetrack the existing laws. This study focuses on Shell Oil Company. It discusses the environmental degradation and the impacts of its activities in Nigeria’s oil and gas extractive sector. The impacts of oil spills and gas flaring are far reaching with severe environmental disaster plaguing rural livelihoods where people are impoverished. The focus is also on civil society and impacted communities’ struggle for access to justice using the courts of law within and outside Nigeria.