Email Facebook Twitter

Exclusive: Hayden Locke, CEO Emmerson plc, a low cost high margin potash investment
Richard Slape, Oil consultant - Avoiding Losers and Picking Winners, his personal strategy

Alliance News

Amnesty International Claims Shell Falsifies Causes Of Nigeria Oil Spills

Thu, 7th Nov 2013 14:33

LONDON (Alliance News) - Petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC manipulated the results of investigations into oil spills in Nigeria by falsely blaming sabotage and theft when operating mistakes and faulty equipment were to blame, Amnesty International claimed Thursday.

Shell's subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria also hid the severity of the spills and the adequacy of its clean-up measures, according to the human rights watchdog's report, which is based on findings from independent US oil-pipeline specialist Accufacts.

In response, a spokesman from Shell said that Shell Nigeria "firmly rejects unsubstantiated assertions that they have exaggerated the impact of crude oil theft and sabotage to distract attention from operational performance."

"Crude theft continues to affect people, the environment and the economy," the Shell spokesman said. "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."

Joint Investigation Visit studies into oil spills in the Niger delta are carried out by Shell itself, regulatory bodies, the Ministry of Environment, the Nigerian Police Force, State Government and impacted communities. The studies have concluded that the vast majority of oil spills are caused by sabotage and the theft of oil.

However, the Amnesty report maintains that these investigations are unreliable and that many of the hundreds of oil spills in Nigeria each year are in fact caused by corrosion, poor maintenance of oil infrastructure, and equipment failure.

The consequences for the affected communities are "devastating" and can result in them receiving little or no compensation, Amnesty's report said.

Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty's director of global issues, said that "new evidence shows that Shell's claims about the oil spills cannot be trusted.

Shell is being disingenuous about the devastation caused by its Niger Delta operations," Gaughran said.

Amnesty, along with a local non-profit, the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, urged Nigeria's government to "substantially strengthen" the capacity of the West African nation's regulators to gain more control over the oil industry.

According to the report, Shell often wrongly attributed causes for oil spills to sabotage, without data to back up the claim.

"Multinational oil companies in the Niger Delta region have continually blamed the majority of oil spills on sabotage as an excuse to avoid compensation and maintain a good name," said Sunny Ofehe, executive director of the Hope for Niger Delta Campaign.

In one incident detailed by Amnesty, secretly filmed video supposedly shows officials from Shell and the Nigerian regulator trying to subvert evidence by persuading community members who are a part of the investigation team not to attribute the cause to equipment failure.

Nigeria suffers hundreds of oil spills every year in the Niger Delta region.

Royal Dutch Shell shares were down 9.50 pence to 2,080.00p Thursday.

By Tom McIvor;; @TomMcIvor1

Copyright 2013 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Alliance News

Back to Alliance News

Share Price, Share Chat, Stock Market news at
FREE Member Services
- Setup a personalised Watchlist and Virtual Portfolio.
- Gain access to LIVE real-time Regulatory News (RNS).
- View more Trades, Directors' Deals, and Broker Ratings.
Share Price, Share Chat, Stock Market news at

Datafeed and UK data supplied by NBTrader and Digital Look. While London South East do their best to maintain the high quality of the information displayed on this site,
we cannot be held responsible for any loss due to incorrect information found here. All information is provided free of charge, 'as-is', and you use it at your own risk.
The contents of all 'Chat' messages should not be construed as advice and represent the opinions of the authors, not those of London South East Limited, or its affiliates.
London South East does not authorise or approve this content, and reserves the right to remove items at its discretion.