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Shell oil spills affecting the Joinkrama 4 community (JK4), Taylor Creek, Nigeria

The community has to keep fighting for Shell to cleaning-up the recurrent spills from its Adibawa Flow Station. The authorities do not properly comply Shell to its responsibilities and ERA denounces inadequate methods of environmental restoration.


Joinkrama 4, popularly called JK4, is an Engene-speaking Ijaw community settled along the Taylor Creek and administratively situated in Ahoada West Local Government Area of River State, sharing boundaries with Biseni and Ikarama communities from the Yenagoa local government area in Bayelsa State. JK4 is in the Edagberi/Betterland Community area where there are over 40 oil wells drilled and operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (hereafter SPDC). Additionally, several crude oil pipelines and Shell’s Adibawa Flow Station are located within the community’s territory. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shell oil spills affecting the Joinkrama 4 community (JK4), Taylor Creek, Nigeria
State or province:Rivers State
Location of conflict:Ahoada West Local Government Area
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The community Joinkrama 4, popularly called JK4, hosts Shell’s Adibawa oil field, operating since 1972 by its subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). The crude oil exploited from the neighboring communities of Besini clan (in Yenagoa local government area in Bayelsa State) also pass through the Adibawa oil field station. The station was closed for three years to construct a “gas gathering plant at the station to minimize or stop gas flaring” [4].

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:18/09/2010
Company names or state enterprises:Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) from Nigeria
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actors:Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, National Oil Spill Detection & Response Agency
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Oilwatch Nigeria, Environmental Rights Action (Friends of the Earth Nigeria), Amnesty International
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Fires, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Oil spills, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Noise pollution, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents
Potential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:1. The community women remain peaceful in their protest as they await Shell’s and government’s responses.
2. Shell should address these minimal demands urgently. After due consultation with the affected people of JK4, Shell should carry out proper cleanup of the impacted lake and its environs.
3. The State/Local governments and Federal government agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission and Ministry of the Niger Delta should equally meet the demands of the community as part of their responsibility. These relevant agencies of the Federal and State governments should take positive steps to ensure that the people and environment of JK4 are protected and that Shell behaves responsibly in line with its new Shell principles of corporate social responsibility.
4. Shell should stop polluting the Taylor Creek and immediately carry out a clean-up of this vital water body.
5. As burning of spill sites is not the best practice/option, Shell should stop further degradation of the environment by its setting ablaze of spill impacted sites; which goes further to impact the trees, shrubs and general atmosphere; including dwellings of birds and other animals.

6. In line with the polluter must pay principle, Shell should pay adequate compensation to the victims and carry out remediation and environment audit to ensure the fecundity of the land and water.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Shell still has to clean up the impacted area, despite the agitations from the community people.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Nigeria Federal Government agencies, such as NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulation Agency) and NOSDRA (National Oil Spill Detection and Remediation Agency)

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Bad information oil spill investigations in the Niger Delta, Amnesty International, 2013
[click to view]

Oil Spill Investigations in the Niger Delta Amnesty International Memorandum September 2012
[click to view]

[2] Peaceful protest against Shell by women of Niger Delta reported by ERA, October 2011
[click to view]

[2] Nigeria: Women protest against Shell, November,ber 2011
[click to view]

[3] Environmental group condemns Shell for poor response to oil spill incident at Adibawa oil field, January 2016
[click to view]

[4] Field Report #381:Almost Two Years After Major Oil Spill, Shell Returns To Impacted Site, ERA, April 2017
[click to view]

Environmentalists, Shell differ on spills investigation reports, March 2015
[click to view]

Shell regrets delays in cleaning Adibawa Oil fields, July 2015
[click to view]

Field Report #381:Almost Two Years After Major Oil Spill, Shell Returns To Impacted Site
[click to view]

Ahoada West Local Government Area, Nigeria
[click to view]

Engenni people, a Ijaw clan
[click to view]

Shell lies about spills caused by equipment failure, March 2015
[click to view]

Shell’s oil field shut down by Bayelsa community, November 2017
[click to view]

Shell Commences Recovery Of Spilled Crude at Adibawa Oil fields, August 2015
[click to view]

Nigeria: Oil Spill - Era/FoEN Accuses Shell of Denying Communities JIV Reports, March 2015
[click to view]

Bayelsa community members shut down Shell oil wells, November 2017
[click to view]

Shell denies complicity in spill stir fire at Adibawa Oil Field
[click to view]

Communities Threaten Shell Over Access Road Rehabilitation, October 2015
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Nnimmo Bassey & Afoke Ohwojeheri
Last update08/05/2019
Conflict ID:561
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