June 18, 2024
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Report Urges Nigeria to Ensure Safe Dismantling of Shell Infrastructure in Niger Delta

A recent report from the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) on the environmental impact of multinational companies in Nigeria emphasizes the need for the country to ensure that Shell safely dismantles its old infrastructure or bears the cost of removal from the Niger Delta before its exit.

Shell is preparing to divest from Nigeria’s onshore oil and gas operations by selling the business to a consortium of five mostly local companies for $2.4 billion.

According to Reuters, the report warns of potential environmental degradation if Shell leaves behind its old assets without proper cleanup.

SOMO’s executive director, Audrey Gaughran, highlights the concern, emphasizing the risk of Shell leaving a massive bill for cleanup in the Niger Delta.

“The big issue is that Shell is leaving onshore Niger delta and leaving behind potentially a massive bill for (clean up),” Gaughran said.

While Shell did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment, it previously announced that the Renaissance consortium would assume responsibility for addressing oil spills in the delta.

Layi Fatona, vice chairman of ND Western, one of the consortium members, indicated that they would adhere to the country’s legal requirements but did not specify cleanup budget details.

Gbenga Komolafe, head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, emphasized the need for oil majors to demonstrate compliance with decommissioning rules before exiting.

However, he did not confirm whether Shell or other companies had met these requirements, stating that the government had not indicated any intention to block the Shell deal.

Local communities in the Niger Delta are also demanding environmental restoration or compensation from Shell for land damaged by historical oil spills.

“We depend on farming and fishing, but now our lands and rivers have been destroyed. If they leave without healing the soil, how do we survive?,” says 61-year-old farmer Ayibakuro Warder, from Ikarama community in Bayelsa state.


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