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Nigeria ravaged by $20bn oil robbery

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29It was 2am when a fireball pierced the inky night sky above a small community in the Niger delta. The explosion near Port Harcourt last June killed several people and released 6,000 barrels of crude oil. The cause: contractors hired by Royal Dutch Shell to stop pirates siphoning oil from a huge pipeline were themselves stealing fuel, and something went terribly wrong. The blast led to the shutdown… Shell, the largest foreign operator in the country, was responsible for more than 20,000 barrels of last year’s spills.

By John Donovan: Sunday 17 February 2014

The Sunday Times has today published an article by Danny Fortson under the headline: “Nigeria ravaged by $20bn oil robbery”

The article reveals information about a new website being launched next month by The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency as a result of an initiative by a group of interested parties, including the Nigerian Government and local communities. The website will publish searchable details about every oil spill in Nigeria. It is expected to shame big oil.

As could be anticipated, Shell’s name is mentioned many times in the half-page article about oil spills, intrigue, greed and robbery e.g.

Extracts

It was 2am when a fireball pierced the inky night sky above a small community in the Niger delta. The explosion near Port Harcourt last June killed several people and released 6,000 barrels of crude oil. The cause: contractors hired by Royal Dutch Shell to stop pirates siphoning oil from a huge pipeline were themselves stealing fuel, and something went terribly wrong. The blast led to the shutdown…

Shell, the largest foreign operator in the country, was responsible for more than 20,000 barrels of last year’s spills.

Extracts end

The Guardian newspaper published a remarkable article in November 1997 about Shell under the headline “Unloveable Shell, the Goddess oil Oil. It mentioned Shell’s unholy conduct in Nigeria, including financial support of the corrupt regime that murdered Ken Saro-Wiwa.

This is a link to the Guardian article together with a response letter received from then Shell Chairman, Mark Moody-Stuart, who cited in defense, Shell’s Statement of Principles covering business integrity, health, safety and the environment.  Moody-Stuart stated:just having those principles is no longer enough. In the past an oil company could say‘trust me” Today, people say “tell me listen to me show me”

Some 17 years later stakeholders and everyone else can make a judgment about whether Shell can be trusted. The list of Shell management misdeeds over many intervening years is extensive (if you don’t believe me check this webpage), but I will just mention as a couple of glaring examples, the reserves scandal announced to a shocked world in January 2004 and the unfulfilled repeated pledges to end gas flaring in Nigeria.

Since Shell manifestly cannot be trusted, the new website must be a good idea.

POTENTIAL ACCESS TO THE SUNDAY TIMES ARTICLE

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