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More Oil Spilled in Nigeria Every Year than in the Gulf of Mexico More Oil Spilled in Nigeria Every Year than in the Gulf of Mexico

More Oil Spilled in Nigeria Every Year than in the Gulf of Mexico

by Patrick James
June 16, 2010

From Boing Boing comes this video, by Al Jazeera, which offers one look at a legal battle between a resident of the polluted Niger Delta and Royal Dutch Shell. It's not surprising that the people with the least means—like this fisherman whose pond was destroyed by an oil spill—both suffer the most and have the lowest chances of successful recourse against titans of industry. What might be surprising is that, according to The Guardian, more oil is spilled each year in Nigeria than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico.

In fact, more oil is spilled from the delta's network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a major ecological catastrophe caused by oil that has poured from a leak triggered by the explosion that wrecked BP's Deepwater Horizon rig last month.

That disaster, which claimed the lives of 11 rig workers, has made headlines round the world. By contrast, little information has emerged about the damage inflicted on the Niger delta. Yet the destruction there provides us with a far more accurate picture of the price we have to pay for drilling oil today.

If Nigeria doesn't get more media attention there's no way Shell will ever promise to stop destroying its coast.

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