Oil Spill Data
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) as operator of SPDC Joint Venture (SPDC-JV) facilities is committed to operating SPDC-JV facilities in a responsible manner with due regard for the environment. When spills occur from SPDC-JV facilities in the Niger Delta we respond as quickly as possible, no matter what their cause.
Oil spills due to crude oil theft and sabotage of facilities, as well as illegal refining cause the most environmental damage from oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta. Irrespective of cause, the SPDC JV cleans up and remediates areas affected by spills originating from its facilities.
A key priority for Shell is to achieve the goal of no spills from its operations. No spill is acceptable and we work hard to prevent them. Regrettably, in addition to spills caused by criminal activity there were nine operational spills of more than 100 kg in volume from Shell Companies in Nigeria facilities during 2017. This number is one more than the eight spills in 2016.
SPDC has publicly reported oil spill statistics annually since 1995 in the Shell sustainability report and this website further enhances transparency on spills in Nigeria from SPDC-JV facilities. It tracks the progress of our spill response from when we learn about the leak to when clean-up is completed and certified by Regulators.
How we respond to spills
When a leak is identified, production is suspended and efforts made to contain any spilled oil. We regularly test our emergency spill response procedures and capability to ensure staff and contractors can respond rapidly to an incident. In line with government regulations, a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) team visits the spill site to establish the cause and volume of oil spilled. The team comprises representatives of SPDC, regulators, government security agencies, state governments and communities sometimes with local NGOs as observers.
The SPDC JV cleans and remediates the area impacted by spills from its facilities, irrespective of cause. In the case of operational spills, it also pays compensation to people and communities impacted by the spill. Once clean-up and remediation are completed, the work is inspected, and if satisfactory, approved and certified by Federal Government of Nigeria regulator National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.
SPDC’s remediation practices are compliant with the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN), Revised Edition 2002 as well as other relevant international standards. EGASPIN provides for the management and remediation of contaminated land. To this end, SPDC has 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.
The SPDC JV also works with communities and civil society across the Niger Delta to build greater trust in spill response and clean-up processes. Wherever possible, local communities take part in the remedial work if the cause is not sabotage/third party tampering. SPDC was the first oil and gas company in Nigeria to publish data on all spills in its areas of operation online. The oil spills website went live 2011.