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Mobil oil spills in the Atlantic Coast line, Nigeria


In November 2013, many oil spillis have been observed along the Atlantic Shoreline in Ibeno Local Government Area of AkwaIbom. They have been recorded at the oil field on Aug. 13, Aug. 24. Nov. 9 , Dec 16 and Dec. 19, 2012.

The oil field from where the spill emanated is operated by the Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), a subsidiary of the US oil firm, ExxonMobil.

A field surveillance trip to the Qua Iboe fields by field monitors of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) revealed widespread and worsening pollution of the coastline by crude oil.

Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) currently exports an average 600,000 barrels of crude daily from its two oil blocks from the Qua Iboe oil export terminal.

Residents of Ibeno fishing settlement who had insisted on the adoption of international best practices by MPN in their decision of turning down a paltry relief material from the oil company said that the marine environment had been left at the mercy of tidal waves spreading the crude deposits farther along the coastline.They disclosed that the oil firm equally suspended the clean-up exercise at the areas affected by an earlier spill incident on November 9 and went on Christmas break while the environmental pollution was left to worsen.

A visual inspection of the coastline revealed that the oil deposits had been dispersing along the entire AkwaIbom coastline due to the action of tidal waves.

Residents at the coastal settlements on the Atlantic coastline who reacted on the development and its implications decried the insensitivity of the oil firm in abandoning the spill reported to the MPN officials since the middle of December 2012.

As per an article on Africa News Circle, a resident and community leader in Iwuokpom community in Ibeno said: “We started seeing fresh oil deposits since Dec. 16, and we reported to Mobil and they came to inspect and collected samples of the oil. But up till now, they have not responded to clean it up. And the dynamic nature of the the tide at this time of the year has not helped matters. The tide has been flushing the oil to other places and this is worsening the situation". [1]

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Mobil oil spills in the Atlantic Coast line, Nigeria
State or province:Akwa Ibom State
Location of conflict:Ibeno, Eket
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country 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
Oil and gas refining
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Specific commodities:Crude oil

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Project area:Unknown
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2012
Company names or state enterprises:Mobil Producing Nigeria Plc (MPN) from Nigeria
ExxonMobil Corporation (Exxon) from United States of America
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:ERA/FoEN

Conflict & Mobilization

Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Impunity of the polluting company
Proposal and development of alternatives:Mobil to immediately cleanup of the polluted waters, shoreline and environment in Ibeno
2. Mobil to immediately replace all its aging and leaking pipelines
3. Mobil to take responsibility for past and current spills in the community
4. A comprehensive audit of the environment in Ibeno as a result of the incessant spills
5. NOSDRA should adequately penalize Mobil for this and other spills in order to halt this impunity
6. Compensation of the impacted community folks, including fisherfolks whose livelihoods have been ruined
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Mobil is yet to commence clean-up while the local people surfer the lost.

Sources & Materials

[1] Mobil stays action on clean up of Atlantic coastline contaminated by multiple spills from its operations.

ERA report

Fisherman association seeks compensation

Meta information

Contributor:Afoke Ohwojeheri
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:594