The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, has described as “unsubstantiated assertions”, a recent statement by Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, CEHRD, that it manipulates investigations into series of oil spills in Nigeria.
The two global bodies had declared that Shell’s claims on oil pollution in the region were “deeply suspect and often untrue.”
But in a swift reaction, the Anglo Dutch oil company, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobo insisted the company seeks to bring greater transparency and independent oversight to the issue of oil spills, and will continue to find ways to enhance this.
Okolobo faulted the claims by the two organisations and insisted that “Shell routinely publishes spill data online since January 2011 and is working with Bureau Veritas, an independent third party, to find ways to improve the immediate response to a spill”.
The statement read: “The SPDC firmly rejects unsubstantiated assertions that they have exaggerated the impact of crude oil theft and sabotage to distract attention from operational performance.
We seek to bring greater transparency and independent oversight to the issue of oil spills, and will continue to find ways to enhance this.
These efforts include publishing spill data online since January 2011 and working with Bureau Veritas, an independent third party, to find ways to improve the immediate response to a spill.”
The company added: It must be emphasised that the joint investigation process is a federal process that SPDC cannot unilaterally change, involving as it does representatives of regulatory bodies, the Ministry of Environment, the Nigerian Police Force, State Government and impacted communities.
“A recent Chatham House report highlighted that an average of 100,000 barrels of oil were stolen each day in the first quarter of 2013, costing the Nigerian government and its people billions in lost revenue. Solutions to the terrible tragedy of oil pollution in the Niger Delta need to be found.
Crude theft continues to affect people, the environment and the economy. Coordinated action from the industry, government, security forces, civil society and others is needed to end this criminality, which remains the main cause of oil pollution in the Delta today. SPDC regrets that some NGOs continue to take a campaigning approach rather than focusing on on-the-ground solutions that bring societal benefits.”