Shell, Amnesty clash over oil spills

Posted by News Express | 16 March 2018 | 1,574 times

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•A Niger Delta oil spill site

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) and Amnesty International clashed on Friday over an accusation that the international oil major is guilty of negligence when addressing spills in Nigeria.

While Eni, which was equally accused, had no immediate response, SPDC declared the allegations “false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which the company operates”.

Amnesty had accused the companies of “serious negligence”, berating them for allegedly “taking weeks to respond to reports of spills and publishing misleading information about the cause and severity of spills, which may result in communities not receiving compensation”.

Un reaction, a spokesperson for SPDC said: “The allegations levelled by Amnesty International are false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which the company operates where security, a sole prerogative of Government, remains a major concern with persisting incidents of criminality, kidnapping, vandalism, threats from self-described militant groups. As operator of a joint venture, where the government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has a majority interest, SPDC continues to work with federal and state government agencies, communities and civil society to create a safe operating environment.

“SPDC, in collaboration with government regulators, responds to spill incidents as quickly as it can and cleans up spills from its facilities regardless of the cause. We regularly test our emergency spill response procedures and capability to ensure staff and contractors can respond rapidly to an incident. However, response to spills, clean-up and remediation depend on access to the spill site and ultimately on the security of personnel and equipment while work is ongoing.

“SPDC reiterates its commitment to carrying out operations in line with best practice in a responsible and environment-friendly manner.”

Shell has reported 1,010 spills since 2011, and Eni 820 since 2014, according to Amnesty, which said among those 1,830 reports it found 89 “about which there are reasonable doubts surrounding the cause provided by the oil companies”.

Source: News Express

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