Oil Spill Data
SPDC’s oil spill response strategy during the current COVID-19 crisis
In order to ensure that the individuals involved in the remediation of oil spills are not put at risk of COVID-19 infection, SPDC, after due consultation with relevant Government regulators is currently restricting its oil spill response activities to only those sites where containment and recovery of oil from new releases is required. At sites where containment and recovery has been achieved, but remediation of residual oil impact has not yet completed, activities have been suspended for the safety of workers and community members. This approach will be reviewed on a regular basis and in consideration of advice from Nigerian and international health officials.
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. When spills occur at, or impact, SPDC-JV facilities in the Niger Delta we respond quickly and in line with extant regulations and globally accepted good practice.
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. 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. If a spill originates from, or impacts, our facilities/Right of Way (RoW), SPDC-JV cleans it up. Where necessary, and as agreed with the relevant government agency, SPDC-JV remediates the affected area, regardless of its cause.
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.
How we respond to spills
When a leak is identified production is suspended and we contain and recover spilled oil. SPDC-JV regularly tests its emergency spill response procedures and capability to ensure it can respond rapidly and effectively to a spill incident. In line with government regulations, a Joint Investigation (JIT) team visits the spill site in a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) to establish the cause, volume, extent and impact of the spilled oil. The team comprises representatives of SPDC-JV, regulators, government security agencies, state governments, communities and sometimes local NGOs as observers. Once clean-up and remediation are completed, the work is inspected and, if satisfactory, approved and certified by the Federal Government of Nigeria regulator National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA). In the case of operational spills, compensation is paid to people and communities impacted by the spill.
SPDC-JV has researched and adopted techniques for cleaning up and remediating oil spills that it believes to be the most effective for the soil and climate conditions of the Niger Delta. These practices are compliant with the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN, 2018), which establishes the framework for the management and remediation of Oil spills.
SPDC-JV works with communities and civil society across the Niger Delta to build trust in its spill response and clean-up processes. Local communities are engaged and participate in the clean-up and remediation processes.