May 19, 2024
OIL SPILL: Shell records 5 cases in April 2023
ENVIRONMENT: Shell records first oil spill in July 20
– By Alison Godswill

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OIL SPILL: Shell records 5 cases in April 2023

By Eyo Nsima

As pipeline vandalism and oil theft continue in the Niger Delta, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC recorded five oil spill incidents in April 2023.

A similar five cases were recorded in the corresponding period of 2022, indicating that nothing has changed during the period. In other words, it showed that oil companies continue to record attacks, leading to oil losses in Nigeria.

In its report obtained Shell maintained that, “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), as operator of the SPDC Joint Venture (SPDC-JV), is committed to operating its facilities in a responsible manner with due regard for the environment.

“A key priority for SPDC-JV is to achieve the goal of zero spills from our operations as no operational spill is acceptable and we work hard to prevent them. When spills originate from SPDC-JV facilities, we respond quickly and in line with regulations and globally accepted good practice to clean them up.

“From observation and experience we have found that Illegal refining activities cause the most environmental damage in the Niger Delta, whilst at SPDC-JV facilities, crude oil theft and sabotage cause the majority of oil spills (see below data).

“SPDC-JV has publicly reported oil spill statistics annually since 1995 in the Shell Sustainability Report, and this website further enhances transparency on spills from SPDC-JV facilities in Nigeria. It tracks the progress of our spill management from when we detect the spill to when clean-up and remediation are completed and certified by Government Regulators.

“SPDC-JV was the first oil and gas company in Nigeria to publish data on its spills on a publicly accessible website. Our SPDC-JV oil spills website went live in 2011 and is updated regularly.”

It also stated: “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), as operator of SPDC Joint Venture (SPDC-JV) facilities, operates in a way that reduces as far as possible the environmental impact of our activities. We also look for ways to bring environmental and social benefits to the communities where we operate. The standards and practices we use are similar to other Shell operations anywhere in the world.

“SPDC assess and where required remediate areas impacted by spills from its facilities, irrespective of cause. In the case of operational spills it also pays compensation, as stipulated by Nigerian law. Once clean-up and remediation are completed, the work is inspected, approved and certified by the Federal Government regulators – the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

“The most significant environmental damage from oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta is through crude oil theft and sabotage of facilities resulting in oil spills, as well as illegal refining. The spills are sometimes made worse because communities occasionally deny access to verify the spill and stop the cause of the leak. Unauthorized third-party interference with pipelines and other infrastructure was responsible for around 85% of all oil spill incidents from SPDC-JV facilities in 2015.

“SPDC is committed to complying with the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN), Revised Edition 2002. EGASPIN provides for the management and remediation of contaminated land (i.e. soil, groundwater and drinking water). To this end, we have researched and adopted techniques for cleaning up oil spills that we believe to be the most effective for the soil and climate conditions in the equatorial heat of the Niger Delta. Certification of the satisfactory completion of remediation is performed for all sites by NOSDRA, based on results of analytical laboratory testing.”

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