Amnesty International accuses Shell of not following through on clean up in the Niger Delta.

According to Amnesty International, Shells claims to have cleaned up the pollution caused by oil spills in the Niger Delta, have turned out to be untrue. In 2011, the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP found serious environmental pollution in Ogoniland, caused by severe oil spills from Shell’s pipelines. Shell, promised to clean up the polluted areas1.

Contrary to information provided by Shell, the pollution, however, has not been eliminated. Amnesty International and CEHRD led investigations in four of the polluted areas and came to the conclusion that the clean ups have been inadequately performed and that more must be done. Thirteen of the fifteen areas investigated were still ‘visibly polluted’ or ‘contaminated’ despite claims to the contrary by Shell. The inadequate clean up left thousands of people “exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades,” said Amnesty researcher Mark Dummett2 

According to Shell 55.809 million litres of oil spilled from their pipelines in the Niger Delta since 2007, due to a total of 1,693 accidents. Amnesty estimates that the number and severity of incidents was underreporting stating the damage is far higher. The pollution affects fields, rivers and groundwater3.

Regarding the allegations, Shell explains that a large number of accidents are caused by sabotage and theft. According to Nigerian law, however, the company must eliminate all pollution caused by the pipelines, regardless of how they were created3.


  1. Amnesty.de: Ölpest in Nigeria: Falsche Behauptungen von Shell, http://www.amnesty.de/2015/11/3/oelpest-nigeria-falsche-behauptungen-von-shell, 03.11.2015, aufgerufen am 09.11.2015 []
  2. Reuters: Shell accused of lying over Nigeria Oil spill cleanup  []
  3. Greenpeace-magazin.de: Shell hat gelogen: Ölpest im Nigerdelta nicht beseitigt, https://www.greenpeace-magazin.de/nachrichtenarchiv/shell-hat-gelogen-oelpest-im-nigerdelta-nicht-beseitigt, 03.11.2015, aufgerufen am 09.11.2015 [] []