Nigerian governor urges Shell to clean up over 250 oil spills

Nov 09, 2004 01:00 AM

Governor Peter Odili of Nigeria's Rivers State has urged Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell to clean up over 250 oil spills traced to the group's operations in the oil-rich state, his spokesperson said. The governor made the appeal when Shell's managing director Basil Omiyi led a management team of the company to his office in Port Harcourt, spokesperson Emman Okah told.
"There are some 250 cases of oil spillages across the state. Some of them were cleaned up but not properly done, and the governor wants them to be cleared and cleaned up completely because of the environmental hazards they pose to the people," he said.

He said the state environment ministry will liaise with the company to clear the spills.
"The governor also welcomed the recent location of the corporate headquarters of Shell to Port Harcourt," he said, adding that the move would enhance cordial relations between the company and its host oil-producing communities.

Shell, which accounts for almost half of Nigeria's daily output of 2.5 mm barrels, recently relocated its main office from Lagos to Port Harcourt as part of a restructuring and repositioning plan.
Port Harcourt is the hub of Nigeria's multi-million-dollar oil and gas industry. Several international oil giants and oilfield service companies have offices and workshops there.

Gangs often attack oil facilities in Nigeria as a political protest in order to pressure oil firms into paying protection money or in a bid to steal oil. Last month, vandals damaged Shell's Trans-Niger pipeline which carries crude oil from wells in the delta region to the Bonny export terminal, causing a shut-in of 13 000 bpd.
Nigeria is Africa's biggest and the world's six-largest producer of light sweet crude oil, which is particularly suited to refining into petrol.

Source: AFP
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