Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Oil spill: Shell to appear before Dutch Parliament today

LAGOS — Multinational oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, will appear before Dutch Parliament today to defend its environmental and human rights impacts on account of its activities in Nigeria, even as Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth International filed an official complaint against Shell for breaches of basic standards for responsible business set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD.
Shell has said it stands by its 2009 data that about 98 per cent of the oil spills it experienced during the year in the Niger Delta were as a result of sabotage on account of militancy and oil theft.
Amnesty International, AI, and Friends of the Environment, FOE, however, believe that this declaration by Shell is “misleading” and the basis for dragging the Anglo Dutch oil giant before the OECD.
In a filing by the international non-governmental agencies in the U.K. and The Netherlands, Shell was accused of using “discredited and misleading information to blame the majority of oil pollution on saboteurs in its Niger Delta operations,”thereby breaching the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.”
The two Non-Governmental Organisations insisted that the misuse of data on the cause of oil spills, and the failure of Shell and the government to ensure fair and credible investigations were mere excuses by the company to perpetuate human rights abuses as well as denying justice and compensation to the affected communities.
However, reacting to the accusations on Tuesday in Lagos, Shell said: “We stand by these figures and publish them annually because we can back them up if necessary.”
In a statement entitled: “We categorically deny this allegation,” Shell, the oldest and biggest oil producer in Nigeria, argued that since 1996 it had instituted “a degree of transparency (in oil spill data) unmatched by any other operator in Nigeria.”

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