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Oil leaks in Nigeria
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) is committed to cleaning up oil spills in the Niger Delta, no matter what the cause. Some occur after operational failures, but most result from criminal activities.
Over the past five years, from 2008 to 2012, just under a quarter of the oil that escaped from SPDC facilities was due to operational causes such as human error or equipment failure.
In the case of operational spills the company negotiates compensation with the landowner.
It may also help by providing clean water and food.
No spill is acceptable and SPDC is working to improve its performance in this area.
You can follow SPDC’s progress in tackling spills on a website, which confirms the cause and volume of each confirmed spill from its facilities and allows users to track how it deals with them.
Oil theft and pollution
Criminal activities including sabotage, oil theft and illegal refining are causing huge environmental damage in the Niger Delta. From 2008 to 2012, these activities accounted for around 76% of the oil that escaped from SPDC facilities.
The Wall Street Journal published a story about oil theft in Nigeria in April 2013. A BBC news report broadcast in April 2012 shows how oil is stolen in Nigeria, and the environmental impact it causes. In 2010, CNN ran a news report about the dangers and environmental impact of oil theft and illegal refineries in the Niger Delta.
In June 2010 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) issued a media release highlighting the extent of environmental damage from criminal activity targeting the oil industry, including illegal refineries in the Gokhana area.
In August 2011, the United Nations Environment Programme published an environmental assessment of Ogoni Land in the Niger Delta. Read the UNEP report. SPDC welcomed the report and expressed hope that it will be a catalyst for cooperation to address the challenges in Ogoniland and the wider Niger Delta. Full details of SPDC's response to the UNEP report.