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Shell Oil Spill at Nembe Creeks, Nigeria


The people of Ewelesuo community are Nembe speaking Ijaw folks in Nembe local government area of Bayelsa State. The people are predominately fishermen, and rely on their creeks for survival. They host Shells Nembe 3 flow station and Wellhead 64.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shell Oil Spill at Nembe Creeks, Nigeria
State or province:Bayelsa State
Location of conflict:Ewelesuo Community, Nembe 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

According to NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) annual Bulletin 2010 states that: at Nembe Creeks produce: 2,627,556.36 Barrels of oil, and 1,872,366.81 Mscf of Gas Produced.

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:15/08/2012
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, Oilwatch Nigeria, Trade Unions, Women Groups
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Genetic contamination, Global warming, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Occupational disease and accidents, 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, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:-A joint Investigation Visit [JIV] and report is necessary to official explain the cause of spill and make related recommendations
-Shell should fellow with immediate clean-up
-Victims should be compensated, including individuals and that was has to do with Water right
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The spill has not yet be contained, pollution is still widespread in the creeks, rendering economic activities to a stand still.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

NESREA ACT, Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette. No.92, Vol 94. Lagos ,31st July, 2007.

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

Annual Statistical Bulletin 2011.: A publication of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.

'Nigeria: Shell Moves to Clear Spill in Nembe Creek'
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'Shell Nigeria says leak contained, locals report oil slick'
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'Nigeria: Mobil, Shell Mobilise to Clean Up Oil Spills'
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Shell confirms pump failure in Bayelsa
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'Shell controls Nembe oil spill, locals dispute claim'
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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'Nigeria News: Shell Oil Spill at Nembe flow-station'
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Other comments:Nigeria Federal Government agencies, such as NESREA and NOSDRA. NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulation Agency) has responsibility for the protection and development of the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of Nigerias natural resources in general and environmental technology including coordination, and liaison with, relevant stakeholders within and outsider Nigeria on maters of enforcement of environmental standards, regulations, rules, laws policies and guidelines.
Meta information
Contributor:Godwin Uyi Ojo
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:557
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