There are indications that oil spillage, occasioned by sabotage and other factors have dropped in the Niger Delta by 27.3 percent. Many oil companies, including International Oil Companies, IOCs and indigenous companies did not disclose their oil spill data.
But a compilation of 2017 data obtained by Vanguard from Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, SPDC, a leading IOC, and operator of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Total and Agip joint venture with over 500,000 barrels per day output indicated that the company recorded a total of 76 spill cases in 2017. A breakdown showed that 44 spill cases were recorded in the first half (January – June) of the year, leaving 32 cases for the second half (July – December).
The company attributed most of the cases to sabotage while a few were attributed to other factors in the region. For instance, on January 3, 6, 13, 15 and 21 of 2017, Shell stated that it recorded six oil spills on land and swamp as a result of sabotage.
It indicated that: ”Recovery completed on 07 Jan 2017, assessment completed on 12 Jul 2017, clean-up and remediation planned for April 2018. Recovery completed on 11 Jan 2017, assessment completed on 17 Feb 2017, clean-up and remediation completed on 19 Sep 2017, site certification planned for February 2018.
”Recovery completed on 24 Feb 2017, assessment completed on 29 Apr 2017, clean-up and remediation planned for May 2018. Spill was contained on 14 Jan 2017, no recoverable oil found, assessment completed on 24 Mar 2017, clean-up and remediation not required, site certified on 04 Apr 2017.
”Spill was contained on 21 Mar 2017, no recoverable oil found, assessment completed on 24 Apr 2017, clean-up and remediation planned for January 2018. Spill was contained on 20 Jan 2017, recovery completed on 04 Apr 2017, assessment completed on 07 Feb 2018, clean-up and remediation planned for May 2018.”
Consequently, the company has in recent times attributed many allegations of environmental pollution by communities to sabotage, operational failure and other factors. Dissatisfied, some of the communities have headed to the courts in Nigeria and overseas. The case of Bille and Ogale In May 2015, UK solicitors, Leigh Day, filed oil spill claims against Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) on behalf of Ogale and Bille communities in Rivers State.
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