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Dutch Documentary: The dirty oil from Shell

By John Donovan

The Dutch Parliament recently held a hearing on the activities of Shell in Nigeria, partly in response to this 38 minute documentary  by the Dutch TV programme “*Zembla”: The dirty oil from Shell.

The eyes of the world have been focused on the Gulf of Mexico, where BP took several months to stop an oil leak deep under the sea surface. In the meantime, a 50 year oil disaster is happening in Nigeria.. Since SHELL started their hunt for oil in Nigeria, an estimated 1.5 million barrels of oil have flowed into groundwater, drinking water and rivers. The population wants it to stop. The activity has generated billions in profits for the leading Dutch/British oil company, but it is accused of environmental and human rights abuse.

ZEMBLA went to the delta of Niger and saw the practices of Shell.

Although the documentary is on a Dutch website with Dutch subtitles, much of the commentary and interviews, including a brief one with Shell CEO Peter Voser, are conducted in English language.


*Zembla is a Dutch television documentary programme by VARA and NPS. The documentaries are based on in-depth research that can take months. The subjects are often controversial. (Information from Wikipedia) and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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