A man jumps across water

Oil spill in Niger Delta

Pastor Christian Lekoya Kpandei contemplates the destruction done to his fish farm by an oil spill in Bodo, Nigeria, May 2011. Picture credit: Amnesty Global

Royal Dutch Shell as well as the Italian multinational oil giant ENI have actually accepted to above 550 oil spills into the Niger Delta this past year, relating to an Amnesty Overseas analysis of companies’ latest figures. In comparison, an average of, there were only 10 spills a year throughout the entire of European countries between 1971 and 2011.

Shell reported 204 Niger Delta spills in 2014 while ENI, which works in a smaller location, reported an astounding 349 spills.

“These numbers are seriously alarming. ENI has actually plainly lost control of its businesses in Niger Delta. And despite all its promises, Shell made no progress on tackling oil spills, ” stated Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s international problems Director.

“in almost any various other nation, this could be a national disaster. In Nigeria it looks standard running procedure for the oil industry. The human being cost is horrific – men and women managing pollution every day of these lives.”

In almost any various other nation, this could be a nationwide emergency. In Nigeria it appears to be standard working process of the oil business. The person cost is horrific – people managing pollution daily of their lives.

Audrey Gaughran, Worldwide Problems Director, Amnesty Overseas

The firms state that these spills triggered only 30, 000 drums - or 5 million litres – of oil spilt. However, because of the inadequate reporting methods used by oil companies this figure is very probably be a substantial underestimate.

Royal Dutch Shell

The oil companies blame sabotage and theft when it comes to the greater part associated with the spills. This claim is hotly contested by communities and NGOs and contains demonstrated an ability become wrong.

In November 2014, during a legal activity in UK, Shell had been forced to admit it had underestimated the size of the two significant Niger Delta oil spills, after many years of denials.

The quantity of oil spilt issues because the level of payment paid to affected communities is linked towards the quantity of oil that's believed to possess already been spilt. Shell eventually decided to spend £55 million on Bodo neighborhood into the Niger Delta after originally supplying to provide all of them a paltry £4, 000.

“whenever a business has got to pay £55 million for just two oil spills it initially tried to pass down as small, it will boost severe concerns for investors concerning the hidden liabilities Shell are holding when you look at the Niger Delta”, stated Audrey Gaughran.

“If all oil spills could possibly be scrutinised what sort of two Bodo spills had been then the real scale associated with damage and Shell’s monetary debts is uncovered. But this is simply not no more than debts – discover a rather severe individual concern. Shell is cheating people out-of just payment. The Bodo situation tends to make obvious just what it will take getting the corporation to own as much as the truth about oil spills – six years and UK court proceedings. How About all a huge selection of other communities this company has actually possibly cheated?”

Documents introduced included in the UK legal action revealed your company knew for many years that certain of the main pipelines had been old and hazardous, but had didn't keep it correctly.

Also, an UK courtroom ruling unearthed that Shell has actually an obligation to ensure the stability of their pipelines.


Italian oil giant ENI, which is the owner of the Nigerian Agip Oil business is a smaller sized player into the Niger Delta than Shell and contains obtained less interest. Nevertheless the number of oil spills from its functions needs immediate action by the Nigerian and Italian governing bodies.

Together with the 349 spills in 2014, ENI reported a lot more than 500 oil spills in 2013. The Nigerian regulator reported 474 oil spills from ENI businesses in 2012.

“The Italian government must investigate something happening in ENI’s Nigerian functions. These numbers raises severe questions about potential neglect because of the business heading back many years, ” stated Audrey Gaughran.

“As a question of priority all oil companies in Nigeria must urgently reveal the age and problem of the infrastructure, complete reviews of these working practices, making the conclusions general public so communities know very well what is going on.”

Regardless of the cause, relating to Nigerian law, the oil businesses have the effect of containing and cleaning up spills, and returning impacted areas with their prior condition. However, this rarely happens. Thus people when you look at the Niger Delta you live using collective impact of decades of pollution.

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