Multiple Spills in Biseni, Nigeria


Biseni is an Ijaw oil producing community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Shell Petroleum and Development Company was the first company to prospect for oil within the community in the early seventies. It was closely followed by Nigeria Agip Oil Company in the 80s. Today, the community is host to some 78 oil wells and several clusters.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Multiple Spills in Biseni, Nigeria
State or province:Bayelsa State
(municipality or city/town)Yenagoa Local Government Area
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional 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:

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:09/2007
Company names or state enterprises:Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actors:Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth - Nigeria
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Air pollution, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Malnutrition, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession
Potential: Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:An immediate action by Shell to completely re-mediate all spill sites within Biseni Community.

Compensation of affected parties.

Replace all faulty equipment and pipelines within the community and beyond.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Shell multiple oil spill have devastated farmlands and rivers in Biseni Community. Shell has done nothing to restore the area, community people have not been compensated for their lost livelihoods.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Knee Deep in Crude, Vol 2,. A publication of Environmental Rights Action.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

All Africa
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All Africa
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Sweet Crude Reports
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Nnimmo Bassey
Last update08/04/2014