Tag Archives: Niger Delta

Whose Hands are Dirty with Nigerian Oil?

20 Jun

Leaked Embassy cables reveal Western complicity

A new timeline launched by oil watchdog Platform suggests that the role of British and US governments in the Niger Delta conflict links them to Nigerian military groups through oil giants like Shell and Chevron.

The timeline, based on over 4,000 leaked US embassy cables from 2001 – 2010, is part of Platform’s ongoing investigation into the Delta conflict and an attempt to bring to light the involvement of Western governments, oil companies and security services.

With the aid of interactive bullet points on the timeline, the secret documents strongly suggests that the US, UK and Dutch governments were aware and part of the situation for over a decade without putting an end to it Continue reading

Massive Oil Spill Off Nigerian Coast

29 Dec

By Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Royal Dutch Shell announced on December 21, 2011 that about 40,000 barrels of crude oil leaked into the Atlantic Ocean from the Bonga Deep Offshore Oil Fields. Shell operates the oil field, located about 120 kilometers southwest of the Niger Delta, on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation under a production sharing contract. The oil spill is reported to have occurred while a vessel was being loaded with crude oil. The Associated Press reported on December 26 that the oil spill had been contained. SkyTruth, which monitors oil spills, reported on December 27 on its website that its satellite images taken over the last few days do not contradict Shell’s claims that the spill is contained.

However, an article on the website, AllAfrica.com claims that crude oil “started arriving in the communities along the Niger Delta Coast.” Deputy Director of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Captain Warredi Enisuoh said that delegates in the Niger Delta area on December 26 cannot yet confirm the source of the crude oil. “But from what our team has just seen, it is appalling, it is not very good to see,” Enisuoh said.

“Like I have said, this one that we have found which is currently threatening the Coast at the moment has to be dealt with immediately and it will not be right to go for or blame somebody. I think the effort should concentrate on fixing the situation as soon as possible,” Enisuoh added.

The Nigerian organization, Environmental Rights Action (ERA) contains eyewitness accounts on its website from several Delta fisherman who report seeing crude oil:

“If you go into the ocean you will find the thick slick of crude oil floating, tossed here and there by the waves. It is spreading according to the direction of the current. That is what we are seeing even right here at the waterside on St. Nicholas,” said Lucky Tema, a fisherman.

“Actually we started noticing this crude oil on the Atlantic a week ago. But it came ashore about two days ago.” He added, “We want Shell to clean up the spill and compensate us for loss of livelihood. Our business has been impacted. Bonga fish that used to come to the surface are no more. The company should not deny us of our Bonga with their Bonga Facility,” said Ayeomane Ayela, a fisherman.

Democracy Now (DN) reported that communities along the Delta are on alert about the oil spill. During an interview on December 27 with Amy Goodman of DN, Nnimmo Bassey, executive director of ERA, said that the oil spill is “hitting the shores in very far and a wide range of places.”

ERA’s monitors “are reporting ground onshore and along the coast, and we are seeing evidence of the crude that is coming from the Bonga field,” Bassey said. Bassey added that Nigerian regulatory agencies are not able to verify if Shell has stopped the flow of crude oil.

Weekend Round-Up of Disaster and Disorder

14 Aug

Oil leak in North Sea confirmed by Shell

Oil giant Shell was accused of being secretive on Friday over an oil leak from one of its platforms in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland. Shell publicly reported the spill on Friday night, though it is understood that the company was alerted to a “light sheen” of oil on the surface of the water on Wednesday.

The company last night said it had “considerably reduced” the amount of oil leaking from the Gannet Alpha platform about 112 miles east of Aberdeen—but maintained a stony silence over how much was still escaping and how much had already escaped.  Read more about the spill here

Nigeria oil spills have created ecological disaster, Shell again at the forefront

After half a century of oil spills, Nigeria’s troubled Niger Delta is one of the most polluted places on Earth, and it could take $1 billion and 30 years to clean up the mess, according to a UN report released Thursday. Pollution from over 50 years of oil operations in the region has penetrated further and deeper than many may have supposed,” the report says. Some areas that seemed unaffected on the surface are severely contaminated underground and need urgent action to protect the health of fishing and farming communities, it says. The report puts pressure on Shell Petroleum Development Co., the major operator during the period, which has had a bitter relationship with communities. It produces about 40% of Nigeria’s oil in a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.  Read more here

China orders petrochemical plant shutdown after protests

Chinese authorities have ordered a petrochemical plant to shut down immediately after tens of thousands of protesters marched through the streets of a nearby city, demanding the factory be relocated.

The demonstration in Dalian – one of the biggest in a series of recent Nimby rallies against potential polluters in China – was sparked by the news last week that a protective dike around the Fujia factory, in the Jinzhou industrial complex, had been breached by rain and high waves as typhoon Muifa approached.

In a rare concession the local Communist party chief, Tang Jun, and Dalian’s mayor, Li Wancai, promised to move the project out of the city, Xinhua reported.

The protesters demanded a clear timetable for moving the plant, with some refusing to leave until a plan was in place, the state-run news agency said.  Read more here

Niger Delta villagers go to the Hague to fight against oil giant Shell

6 Aug

Oil spill on the shores of the Niger Delta swamps of Bodo, a village in Niger's oil-producing Ogoniland. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

By John Vidal

Excerpts below. To read full article go to source: Cross-posted from here

Goi is now a dead village. The two fish ponds, bakery and chicken farm that used to be the pride and joy of its chief deacon, Barrisa Tete Dooh, lie abandoned, covered in a thick black layer. The village’s fishing creek is contaminated; the school has been looted; the mangrove forests are coated in bitumen and everyone has left, refugees from a place blighted by the exploitation of the region’s most valuable asset: crude oil.

Last Thursday, a long-awaited and comprehensive UN study exposed the full horror of the pollution that the production of oil has brought to Ogoniland over the last 50 years.

The UN report showed that oil companies and the Nigerian government had not just failed to meet their own standards, but that the process of investigation, reporting and clean-up was deeply flawed in favour of the firms and against the victims. Spills in the US are responded to in minutes; in the Niger delta, which suffers more pollution each year than the Gulf of Mexico, it can take companies weeks or more.

Goi, 40 miles from Port Harcourt, is a typical case. Just a few miles from where Shell first found oil in Ogoniland in 1958, it is only 20 miles from Bane, the ancestral home of Ogoni writer and leader Ken Saro-Wiwa. People from Goi joined the great Ogoni protest march of 1994, when one in three people from the small kingdom of 900,000 rose peacefully against the company, preventing it from working any of its 30 wells in the area. Two years later, Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni leaders were tried on a fabricated murder charge and executed.

On Wednesday, Shell formally accepted responsibility in British law for two significant spills in nearby Bodo. Those were rare victories. More than 1,000 court cases have been taken against Shell for pollution in the last 30 years, but almost all are rejected, settled for a few dollars or remain mired in the legal system for years. Even when the courts rule against the company and fine it millions, it is possible for it to appeal, with legal delays draining communities of cash. One case against Shell taken by people in Goi is still in the courts after 14 years.

For full article go here