Amnesty International accuses Shell of false claims about its environmental impact in the Niger delta, saying that the oil company cannot be trusted and that there are “serious discrepancies” between the evidence of pollution and what Shell claims.
“[Its] claims about its environmental impact in the Niger delta are frequently untrue. Shell has claimed that the oil spill investigations are sound when they are not, that sites are cleaned up when they are not, and that the company is transparent when, in reality, it maintains very tight control over every piece of information – deciding what to disclose and what to withhold,” a report into oil spills in the Nigerian region says. “Shell is being disingenuous about the devastation caused by its Niger delta operations. Shell’s claims about the oil spills cannot be trusted.”
According to official figures, there are several hundred oil spills a year in the delta, many of which involve Shell pipelines. “Instead of being in the dock when there is an oil spill in Nigeria, Shell gets to act as judge and jury,” says the Nobel prize-winning human rights organisation. “It is the communities that suffer a life sentence, with their land and livelihoods destroyed by the pollution. The Niger delta is the only place in the world where companies brazenly admit to massive oil pollution from their operations and claim it is not their fault. Almost anywhere else they would be challenged on why they have done so little to prevent it.”