Oil company Shell was ready to pay up to £30 million (R543m) in compensation for two oil spills in Nigeria in 2008 after a London court rejected a larger claim, sources involved in the case said on Friday.

About 15 000 residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta represented by law firm Leigh Day appealed in 2011 to a London court for more than £300m in compensation. Claimants say that the two spills resulted in the leakage of of 500 000 barrels of oil but Shell said it was 4 000 barrels.

Shell has already offered some compensation for the spills. The sources said a Shell offer from last September to settle the case for £30m remained on the table. The lawyer representing the claimants rejected the sum. – Reuters