Nigeria Oil Spill Coats River As Hundreds Of Yearly Leaks Continue To Devastate Ecosystem
A large oil spill near Nigeria’s Brass facility, run by ENI, has spread through the sea and swamps of the oil producing Niger Delta region, local residents and the company said on Monday.
ENI said it was not yet possible to determine the cause of the spill.
There are hundreds of leaks every year from pipelines that pass through the delta’s creeks, damaging the environment and the profits of oil companies including ENI and Royal Dutch Shell , especially when production has to be deferred.
Vast stretches of the delta’s unique mangrove swamps are blackened and dead from oil pollution.
“During loading operations on a tanker on Nov. 27, an oil spill in the sea was seen. Operations were immediately suspended and resumed only after it was verified that the vessel’s structures were not damaged and were not leaking,” the company said in an emailed statement.
Nigerian legislators are considering a law to impose new fines on operators responsible for oil spills, a measure that could land major foreign companies with penalties running into tens of millions of dollars a year.
Francis Clinton Tubo Ikagi, chairman of the Odioama fishing community in Bayelsa, where a large part of the Niger river fans out through creeks into the Atlantic, told journalists on the scene that he saw a large oil slick on Nov. 20.
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