International

Shell Still Hasn’t Cleaned Up Nigeria Spills, Report Exposes

Oil giant Shell has endangered the lives of thousands of Nigerians by failing to clean up massive, decades-old spills
Shell Still Hasn’t Cleaned Up Nigeria Spills, Report Exposes

The four spill sites mentioned in the report were all “visibly contaminated in 2015, even though Shell says it has cleaned them.”

Oil giant Shell has endangered the lives of thousands of Nigerians by failing to clean up massive, decades-old spills, according to a grim report released Tuesday.

The international report found at least four major contamination sites in Nigeria’s oil rich Ogoniland are still heavily polluted, despite Shell previously claiming these areas had been decontaminated.

Published by Nigerian human rights group Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development and Amnesty International, the document concludes Shell had failed to implement the recommendations of a landmark report by the United Nations Environment Programme.

The UNEP recommendations call for a large-scale cleanup effort, warning Ogoniland oil spills had devastated local communities. Researchers found massive drinking water contamination, and petroleum leaks in waterways had wiped out much of the region’s fishing industry.

The new CEHRD/AI report concludes the pollution they uncovered was due to “inadequate clean up” of decades-old leaks, not new oil spills.

Shell ended its Ogoniland operations in the early 1990s under intense international pressure, sparked by allegations of high levels of environmental destruction by the company and widespread human rights abuses committed by Nigerian security forces.

The four spill sites mentioned in the report were all “visibly contaminated in 2015, even though Shell says it has cleaned them.”

Shell has previously defended its role on Ogoniland, arguing it has long been committed to clean up efforts, and blaming the majority of spills on sabotage and oil theft.

The CEHRD/AI report doused cold water on these claims, concluding, “The proportion of oil spills caused by sabotage, as opposed to corrosion and equipment failure, cannot be determined because the causes of oil spills in the Niger Delta have not been subject to any independent assessment or verification.”

The report continued, “In many cases the oil company has significant influence on determining the cause of a spill – even when a regulatory representative is present. As the company is liable for compensation payments if the spill is found to be due to corrosion or equipment failure, the practice of allowing companies so much control over the investigation process creates a deeply troubling conflict of interest.”

Source/teleSUR
CF/IC

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