Amnesty Says Shell, ENI Oil Spills In Nigeria Alarming

Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of Abuja

Amnesty International has described the 553 oil spills recorded in Nigeria by both oil majors, Shell and ENI in 2014 as alarming.

The human rights watchdog said on Thursday that the Anglo-Dutch Shell reported 204 oil spills in 2014, while the Italian ENI recorded 349.

Amnesty’s Global Issues Director Audrey Gaughran accused ENI of losing control over “its operations in the Niger Delta.”

Gaughran said that “Despite all its promises, Shell has made no progress on tackling oil spills”.

The rights group added that the spilling of 30,000 barrels of oil, as announced by the companies, was “highly likely to be a significant underestimate.”

The number of oil spills is significant as it compares to only 10 such instances reported across Europe between 1971 and 2011.

Shell has blamed the situation on vandalism by local gangs, which sell crude on the black market.

In January, Shell agreed to a payout of $84 million to residents in Nigeria’s Bodo area in the Niger Delta, where Amnesty said the spills had caused headaches and eyesight problems.