" />
Published On: Fri, Mar 16th, 2018

Niger Delta oil spills: Amnesty Int’l accuses Shell, Eni of negligence

Rights group, Amnesty International, has faulted reports of oil spills in the Niger Delta by Shell and Eni, and is asking the Federal Government re-open investigations into 89 oil spills in the region.

According to the group, the oil giants under-reported the number of spills in the last seven years and also attributed the causes to activities of militants and oil thieves.

But findings by pipeline experts, accufacts, which carried out the investigation on behalf of Amnesty International, also blamed the spills on pipeline corrosion.

Part of the report also accuses the companies of responding late to reports of oil spills.

It added: “We consider Shell and Eni to be deliberately reckless and therefore wilfully negligent in their operations in Nigeria – their failure to operate in line with Nigerian law and best practice standards is having a devastating impact on the human rights of Niger Delta communities.”

Amnesty International is, therefore, calling on the Nigerian government to strengthen its regulation of the oil industry, including the oil spills agency, NOSDRA, with adequate tools to ensure that the oil companies prevent and clean up spills.

The call was made after crowd-sourced analysis of the companies’ publicly available documents on pipeline failures in the Niger Delta region.

Activists who pored over reports found that since Shell began publishing details in January 2011, it had 1,010 spills amounting to 110,535 barrels or 17.5 million litres of crude.

ENI had 820 spills — the equivalent of 26,286 barrels or 4.1 million litres of oil — since it made its reports public in 2014.

The companies blamed “third party interference” — either sabotage of pipelines by militants or the theft of crude known locally as “bunkering” — for most of the spills.

‘Insult To Injury’

But Amnesty’s business and human rights researcher Mark Dummett said the companies’ claims to be doing all they can to prevent spills were at odds with the analysis.

“(Researchers) found that the companies often ignore reports of oil spills for months on end — on one occasion ENI took more than a year to respond,” he said in a statement.

“The Niger Delta is one of the most polluted places on Earth and it beggars belief that the companies responsible are still displaying this level of negligence.

“Adding insult to injury is the fact that Shell and ENI seem to be publishing unreliable information about the cause of extent of spills,” he added, accusing both firms of “recklessness”.

Allegations about misreporting, including under-estimating the amount of oil spilled, are significant as they could affect claims for compensation for local communities.

In January 2015, Shell agreed to pay £55 million ($77 million, 62 million euros) in compensation to more than 15,500 people affected by oil spills in the Ogoniland area of Rivers state.

The case saw the company admit the spills were greater than first reported.

Food, water contamination

Oil companies are required to make an initial assessment of any spill within 24 hours of detection, put in place measures to prevent wider contamination and clean up spills swiftly.

But the analysis indicated Shell responded within 24 hours on only 26 per cent of occasions during the period in question, while ENI did so on 76 per cent of times.

The risk of contamination of food and water sources increases the longer the response time to spills.

Many spills happened in the same area. ENI, for example, had 262 spills on its 92-kilometre (57.5-mile) Tebidaba-Brass pipeline in Bayelsa state.

ENI blamed sabotage for 260 of the spills but the company was warned multiple times to improve surveillance, it was alleged in Amnesty’s report, “Negligence in the Niger Delta”.

Shell rejected the allegations, saying they were “false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which it operates”.

ENI similarly rejected claims that it was failing to take prompt action or was providing unreliable or misleading information.

It said spills were down by more than 50 per cent last year compared to 2014.

 

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Keystone Bank partners CeLD, launches ‘CashToken’ customers

    By OKEY ONYEMWEAKU  Fastest growing financial institution in Nigeria, Keystone Bank Limited, has partnered with a ‘Cash Reward as-a-Service Company’, CeLD Innovations Limited, to launch a ground-breaking product, ‘CashToken’, a new age of hyper consumer centricity in Nigeria. The new innovative product, CashToken, which was formally launched in Lagos on Thursday April 19, 2018 at […]

  • US oil hurts Nigeria, OPEC in Europe

    US oil producers are reaping the benefits of OPEC’s efforts to balance the crude market by flooding Europe with a record amount of crude, hurting traditional suppliers such as Nigeria. Russia paired with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries last year in cutting oil output jointly by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), a deal […]

  • CBN ruins Black Market business, says Gwadabe

    Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) foreign exchange management policies have begun to put severe pressure on Nigeria’s parallel foreign currency market as ‘Black marketers’ begin to see their trading margins disappear. Indeed with more stable supply of forex and growing investor confidence on rising oil prices (currently at $74 per barrel) , the business of […]

  • Manufacturers groan despite improved bank liquidity

    By FELIX OLOYEDE Nigerian manufacturers are still credit-starved despite the improved liquidity of the banking sector. Although credit to the private sector has been rising, manufacturers have claimed that access to funds still pose a serious problem. Broad money in circulation increased 8.14 per cent to N2, 401.91 trillion in February 2018 compared to N2, […]

  • MAN, LCCI disagree over CFTA

    By UCHE CHRIS President Buhari seems to be coming under increasing pressure from both home and abroad over his refusal to sign the Continental Free Trade Area treaty last month at the meeting African Union Heads of states and government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Also Nigerians particularly the business community are sharply divided over the […]

  • Gov. Wike: More garlands for Mr. Projects

    By OBINNA EZUGWU On Sunday April 15, 2018 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike was the cynosure of all eyes as he stood firm and composed to the cheering of the audience at the capacity hall to receive the prestigious Zik Prize for good governance. It was indeed an […]

  • The Sterling Bank spreadsheet… an uppity lenders burden

    By TESLIM SHITTA-BEY Despite not stirring excitement in recent years, Sterling Bank Plc has run a recession gauntlet and come out looking marvelous. The bank in 2017 grew its gross earnings by slightly under twenty per cent to 19.79 per cent between 2016 and 2017.  The banks gross earnings (a measure of its business volume) […]

  • Melaye released after being detained, police deny involvement

    Kogi West senator, Dino Melaye has been released from detention reports reaching Business Hallmark indicate. The Senator was released after being detained by officials of the immigration service at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on his way to Morocco The officials allege that he was detained based on an order from Interpol. However, the […]

  • Breaking: Senator Dino Melaye arrested at Abuja airport

      Senator Dino Melaye on Monday morning arrested after checking in at the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja. The embattled senator representing Kogi West on the platform of the APC, tweeted that he was picked up on his way to Morocco for an official engagement sponsored by the Nigerian government. Melaye was […]

  • Big Brother Naija 2018: Miracle claims N25m cash prize, brand new SUV

    Miracle Ikechukwu Igbokwe has emerged the winner of Big Brother Nigeria #BBNaija, reality show. Miracle beats one of the most controversial housemates, Cee-C to win the ultimate grand prize of N25million cash, a brand new SUV among other prizes. Miracle is a young pilot and also a model. A total of 170 million votes were […]

  • Economy: Nigeria receives massive vote of confidence – Adeosun

    …We will continue to build reserves and save for the rainy day – Emefiele From OKEY ONYENWEAKU, Washington D.C, USA Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun Saturday in Washington D.C, USA said Nigeria has been praised for her good economic outlook.  Speaking to Journalists during a combined briefing with the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. […]

  • Nigeria-US Investment Summit not included in our schedule, says Adeosun, Emefiele

    The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, have explained the reasons why they were absent at the Nigeria-Us Investors Summit which was held in Washington, DC on Saturday. The summit is organised by the Embassy of Nigeria in the United State and the absence of […]

  • Nigerian banks must grow risk-weighted assets to remain competitive, says Coronation Merchant Bank report

    FELIX OLOYEDE Ability to create risk asset creation in the real sector would set apart leaders of the Nigerian banking industry over the next three years, a new report from Coronation Research, a part of Coronation Merchant Bank Group has stated. The report released last week claimed that while the quality of asset in the […]

  • Nigerian equities market sheds 0.28%

    The equities market closed negative last week as Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (NSE ASI) dropped by 0.28 per cent to 40,814.89 basis points. Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of NSE Consumer Goods, NSE Premium, NSE-Main Board, NSE 30, NSE Banking, NSE Oil/Gas, and NSE Pension indices, which appreciated by 1.08 […]

  • SEC expresses worry over spate of delisting companies

    FELIX OLOYEDE The spate of highly capitalised companies delisting from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) calls for some concern, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated. The Acting Director General, Ms. Mary Uduk, while briefing pressmen on the outcome of the first Capital Market Committee (CMC) in 2018 on Friday, noted that this trend […]

  • Borno Mosque Attack: Four killed, eight injured Sunday morning

    Four people have been killed and eight others injured in a suicide attack on a mosque in Bama Local Government Council, Borno state. The State Emergency Managment Agency (SEMA) chairman, Yabawa Kolo, confirmed the death toll on Channels Television. The incident occurred when two suicide bombers, a male and female between the ages of  13 and 14 invaded […]