27,580 barrels of Shell oil spilt in Nigeria in 2010

May 27, 2011
A man walks on slippery spilled crude oil on the shores of the Niger Delta. Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell says that theft, sabotage and operational reasons caused 27,580 barrels of oil to spill from its facilities in Nigeria last year.

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell said on Friday that theft, sabotage and operational reasons caused 27,580 barrels of oil to spill from its facilities in Nigeria last year.

"Sabotage and theft was the cause of 22,310 barrels spilled from SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company) facilities in 112 incidents, an average of about one spill every three days," the company said in a document released to AFP here.

It said the balance of 5,270 barrels was due to 32 operational spills recorded during the period.

The company said security agents arrested 187 people and seized 20 tankers, 15 vehicles, 28 barges and 38 other boats allegedly involved in oil theft in 2010.

Shell said it paid more than $1.7 million in compensation only to those affected by operational spills. Under Nigerian law, compensation is not paid on caused by sabotage.

It said that on average accounted for more than 75 percent of oil spill incidents and more than 70 percent of oil spilled from Shell facilities in the Niger Delta between 2006 and 2010.

In January, environmental campaigners in the Netherlands accused Shell of destroying lives and the environment in the Niger Delta, and urged Dutch MPs to wade into the matter.

Shell said in its defence that it applied "global standards" to its operations around the world.

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not rated yet May 27, 2011
It's sad that there is (really, was--since this was 2010) so little talk about this. Why?

Because Royal Dutch Shell is one of the largest, most powerful corporations in the world and with all its money and power behind its defense, Nigeria, a relatively poor country with pressing domestic issues to focus on and with few resources to raise an uproar large enough to matter, can't do anything.

Yet look at what happened in the US when BP effected a disaster that's been repeated elsewhere countless times by countless other companies. Our "justice" system bent over and let the corporations get off with an ineffective cleanup effort, minor disbursements to disaffected people and businesses along the coast, and a fine. Offshore drilling was only halted for a short amount of time until the uproar ceased, as it invariably does.

Face it: we're in thrall to our corporate owners.

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