The Curmudgeon


Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Cause of Most Oil Pollution in the Niger Delta

Another oil company is being persecuted by locals over a little mistake that could happen to anyone. In 2008, Shell's trans-Niger pipeline burst twice within a few months, and eleven thousand fishermen lost their livelihoods; although, on the positive side, Shell remains the largest firm on the London stock exchange. As befits mere Nigerians, the original compensation offer was £4000 for the entire community; this was later raised to thirty million, or about £11,000 for each affected non-shareholder. This amounts to two or three years' earnings; which is remarkably generous considering that the affected area has already been ruined for five and may take a quarter of a century to recover; nevertheless, the natives remain restless and the matter is now likely to be settled in court. Shell has said that it will condescend to start cleaning up the mess once local communities stop interfering, and has issued a stern call for "the cessation of oil theft and illegal refining in the area, which reimpacts the environment and remains the cause of most oil pollution in the Niger delta", the impact of the burst pipeline being apparently negligible. When the oil companies are eventually allowed to exploit Ecuador's Yasuní national park, it is to be hoped that the natives will show a bit more responsibility.


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