Wahala: trouble in the Niger delta – photo essay

The first oil well in Oloibiri, drilled by Shell in 1956. Oloibiri is located in Bayelsa State, in the eastern Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Photo source: ©© Rhys


Covering 70,000 sq km (27,000 sq miles) of wetlands, the Niger delta used to be an incredibly rich ecosystem that contained one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet before the oil industry moved to the area.

The Nigerian petroleum resources department estimated 1.89m barrels were spilled into the Niger delta between 1976 and 1996. A United Nations development programme report states there have been a total of 6,817 spills between 1976 and 2001, which account for a loss of 3m barrels of oil.

So far, no real action has been taken by the authorities and oil companies to clean up and renaturalise the delta, and oil spills are still very common. Half of them are caused by pipeline and tanker accidents…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (10-18-2019)

Niger delta oil spill clean-up launched – but could take quarter of a century; Guardian UK (06-01-2016)

Niger Delta: Shell’s Manifestly False Claims About Oil Pollution Exposed, Again; (11-09-2015), Amnesty International
Claims by oil giant Shell that it has cleaned up heavily polluted areas of the Niger Delta are blatantly false, Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) said in a report…

Oil pollution in Niger Delta: Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland Report; Unep (08-04-2011)
A report by the UN Environment Programme, which carried out a 14-month assessment of pollution from over 50 years of oil operations in Ogoniland – Niger Delta region, has found widespread and devastating oil pollution that may require the world’s biggest ever clean-up, that could take 20-30 years. The UNEP also called for the oil industry and the Nigerian government to contribute $1 billion to a clean-up fund for the region to properly address this “tragic legacy.”

Illegal Oil Refineries In The Niger Delta, in Pictures; Guardian UK (01-22-2013)
Photographer Akintunde Akinleye documents for Guardian UK, the dangerous practice of illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta, which damages the environment and the health of local people…