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Statement issued September 2013

In August 2011, the United Nations Environment Programme published an ‘Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland’ – a study of oil pollution in Ogoniland in Rivers State, a region of the Niger Delta. The report was commissioned by the Federal Government of Nigeria as part of an ongoing Ogoni reconciliation process.

SPDC Statements

SPDC has issued a number of official statements in response to the UNEP report.

  1. The SPDC joint venture supports the government—led Ogoni reconciliation process. On the request of the government, SPDC and its joint venture partners financed the UNEP report and provided data as required. The report highlighted significant environmental impacts from oil pollution in parts of Ogoniland and called on government, industry and communities to take action to put an end to all forms of oil contamination (including crude oil theft and illegal refining) and begin a comprehensive clean up.
  2. SPDC has welcomed the UNEP report and is advocating more concerted efforts by all stakeholders in the hopes that the report will drive real change in Ogoniland and the wider Niger Delta.
  3. The UNEP report was commissioned by and delivered to the Federal Government of Nigeria. Many of the most important UNEP recommendations – such as the creation of an Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Authority and an Environmental Restoration Fund for Ogoniland – are directed at the government and require the government to take the lead to co-ordinate the activities of the many stakeholders involved.
  4. In July 2012, the Minister of Petroleum Resources announced the creation of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), with a pledge to fully implement the UNEP report. SPDC welcomes this announcement and has expressed its willingness to support HYPREP in realizing its objectives in Ogoniland.
  5. We understand that HYPREP is in the process of developing a detailed program and work plan for the implementation of the UNEP report. We are hopeful that this process will be speedily concluded to enable government to take the lead in Ogoniland Restoration, as recommended by the UNEP report.
  6. SPDC is willing to support and contribute its share to the Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Fund, once a satisfactory framework and governance structure is fully established by the Federal Government.

SPDC actions on matters addressed in the UNEP Report - issued Sept 2013

Commissioning of Eleme Water Project

  • In addition to financing the emergency supply of eight million litres a month of clean drinkable water to Ogale, Okrika and Ebubu communities in Ogoniland, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) joint venture, partnered with the Rivers State government on a project to construct permanent water distribution facilities to Eleme Local Government Area (LGA).
  • The SPDC joint venture funded the construction of some 27kilometres of new pipelines to provide running water to local residents, as part of the emergency measures identified by the UNEP report. The 450,000 litre capacity facility was commissioned in August 2013 by the Governor of Rivers State. The facility has potential to serve an estimated 30,000 people a day and was delivered through local contractors.

Water

  • As UNEP indicated, a thorough clean up of Ogoniland, which includes large areas not associated with SPDC JV facilities, will take many years. Before it can be effective, ongoing sources of oil contamination including crude oil theft and illegal refining must come to an end. Otherwise, cleaned up areas will be re-impacted by further contamination, particularly in riverine and swamp areas where water-borne oil can spread from elsewhere causing re-contamination as well as new pollution.
  • The UNEP report contained a number of findings regarding SPDC practices and performance. SPDC reviewed these findings and has taken the following specific actions since the report was published:

UNEP press release about theft and illegal refining in Ogoniland

In June 2010, UNEP issued a press release highlighting the ongoing environmental damage caused by criminal activity including illegal refineries in the Gokhana area of Ogoniland.

Sky News report on oil theft and illegal refining in Nigeria, 7 June 2012.