18 March 2008
Following the Leigh Day legal team’s successful visit to El Bagre, Colombia
, in May 2007, members of the team recently returned to the country after being contacted by more local farmers who claim to have suffered serious environmental damage to their farms as a result of the construction of the 700 km long OCENSA
oil pipeline. A BP
subsidiary company was allegedly involved in negotiating easements on the farmers’ lands for the laying of the pipeline prior to the construction.
The emergence of further alleged cases has provided additional evidence of the extent of the damage caused to local properties. It is alleged that this has caused a devastating effect to the livelihoods of farmers whose farms are found along the route of the pipeline.
The claimants say that the BP Exploration Company (Colombia) Ltd (BPXC)
is to be held directly responsible for the damage caused to their farms. The farmers that were interviewed during the visit complained that they were paid very modest amounts for the use of the right of way and have not been compensated for the extensive environmental damage.
The 700km pipeline was built by the consortium, Ocensa, between 1994 and 1996. BPXC is a wholly owned subsidiary of BP plc and continues to be a major shareholder in Ocensa.
Before meeting the farmers, members of the Leigh Day team held conferences with a team of Colombian experts in Bogota to strengthen the existing evidence that the farmers' alleged problems have been caused by the construction of the pipeline.
Members of the Leigh Day legal team had the opportunity to visit one of their clients' farms where they were able to assess the scale of the problems themselves since the construction of the pipeline.
For more information please contact Shubhaa Srinivasan
on 020 7650 1200.
Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details