From the Guardian, writer John Vidal talks about the forced admission. A photo gallery of some of the damage the spill left behind can be found here.
Papers seen by the Guardian show that following a class action suit in London over the past four months, the company has accepted responsibility for the 2008 double rupture of the Bodo-Bonny trans-Niger pipeline that pumps 120,000 barrels of oil a day though the community.
Ogoniland is a small region of the Niger delta which threw out Shell in 1994 for its pollution but then saw eight of its leaders, including the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, executed by the government.
The crude oil that gushed unchecked from the two Bodo spills, which occurred within months of each other, in 2008 has clearly devastated the 20 sq km network of creeks and inlets on which Bodo and as many as 30 other smaller settlements depend for food, water and fuel.
No attempt has been made to clean up the oil, which has collected on the creek sides, washes in and out on the tides and has seeped deep into the water table and farmland.
According to the communities in Bodo, in two years the company has only offered £3,500 together with 50 bags of rice, 50 bags of beans and a few cartons of sugar, tomatoes and groundnut oil. The offers were rejected as "insulting, provocative and beggarly" by the chiefs of Bodo, but later accepted on legal advice.
Shell's acceptance of full liability for the spills follows a class action suit bought on behalf of communities by London law firm Leigh Day and Co, which represented the Ivory Coast community that suffered health damage following the dumping of toxic waste by a ship leased to multinational oil company Trafigura in 2006.