Business, Finance & Economics

Amnesty demands Shell cleans up Nigeria oil spills


Gaagaa Gidom, a 60-year-old fisherman and father of eight, looks at the spilled crude oil floating in the waters of the Niger Delta swamps of Bodo, a village in the famous Nigerian oil-producing Ogoniland, which hosts the Shell Petroleum Development Company on June 24, 2010.



Human rights group Amnesty International has accused oil company Shell of failing to clean up massive oil spills in Nigeria that have destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people.

In the report titled "The true tragedy: delays and failures in tackling oils spills in the Niger Delta," Amnesty alleges that Shell has made insufficient efforts to clean up the spills.

The two spills in Ogoniland have been previously reported and Shell has accepted liability, but Amnesty is now calling for Shell to make a $1 billion down payment toward the clean-up costs, based on an estimate of costs made by the UN Environment Program.

Amnesty said that 69,000 people had been affected.

For its part, Shell said that it was trying to clean up the mess, but that “sabotage” and additional spills caused by oil thieves were making it difficult for the company.