Amnesty International questions Nigeria oil spill narrative

Shell-oil-spill

Shell’s claims about the likely causes of frequent oil spills in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria are questionable, Amnesty International said.

AI published a 66-page report Thursday on the legacy of oil spills in the Niger Delta.

Amnesty said there are “hundreds” of oil spills reported in the region every year. Most are caused by pipeline corrosion, poor maintenance, sabotage and oil theft. Shell, along with some of its counterparts operating in the region, said most of the problem is attributed to theft and sabotage.

“There is no legitimate basis for this claim,” Amnesty said.

AI said that even though Shell says sabotage and theft are to blame for the pollution, it hasn’t taken any effective steps to protect its oil infrastructure from tampering. Shell’s own contractors may be part of the theft problem, the report added.

Amnesty’s report said a Nigerian subsidiary of Italian energy company ENI, Agip Oil Co., was also offering misleading information about spills.

“Agip attributes the vast majority of spills to sabotage but provides absolutely no information to support this allegation,” the report said.

Shell was quoted by The Guardian newspaper in London as saying it “firmly rejects” the allegations. No statement was offered by Eni or its subsidiary.

 

Information from UPI was used in this report.

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