October 6, 2012
Shell Oil accounts for over 90% of Nigeria’s oil production of 2,211,000 barrels per day, as the 14 largest producer of cruse in the world. One would think that the wealth generated by this black gold would raise the standards of living of the people of the Niger Delta, whose mineral wealth is being extracted the Dutch petrochemical giant.
But very little of the money earned from oil on their land has gotten to the people who live there, where most remain illiterate. The environmental catastrophe of repeated oil spills is almost unfathomable, such as to make any oil spills we’ve seen in Europe or in the Americas to seem positively trifling:
There have been 5,000 major oil spills in the delta over the past 50 years. One and a half million tons of oil has been discharged into the creeks, farms and forests. That is like one Exxon Valdez disaster, every year, for fifty years, destroying the fisheries throughout the Niger Delta.
This is the story of Shell in Africa.