Shell blames Niger Delty communities for 98 % of oil spill

Nov 19, 2010 12:00 AM

Oil giant Shell said 98 % of oil spilled in the Niger Delta is caused by theft and attack on oil facilities by the members of the oil host communities.
Babs Omotowa, the Vice President Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Infrastructure and Logistics of Shell said it is not true that Shell is largely responsible for environmental degradation due to continual oil spills in the region but is the people themselves that are to be blamed for their misfortune.

Speaking to a cross section of journalists from Nigeria, Germany and Poland who visited the company's office in Abuja on a climate change witness tour organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Omotowa said the only oil spills that Shell can claim responsibility for are those that occur in the cause of operations.
According to him, all operational spills are usually cleaned up and the sites remediated to reduce any negative impact on the environment but most of the spills are as a result of vandalization and theft by the locals and a few outsiders.

"It is not true that the oil spilled is largely caused by Shell, 98 % of oil spilled is due to oil theft by the locals and even United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which was invited by the Federal Government to make findings on the oil spill situation have exonerated Shell of sole responsibility of oil spills in the Niger Delta," Omotowa said.
He however refused to mention the quantity of oil spills the company is responsible for and instead showed an aerial video tape of large areas of land spilled with oil that have been spilled by the locals.

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