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Shell Oil in Nigeria

Shell Oil in Nigeria - Shell Oil in Nigeria In the 1960s...

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Shell Oil in Nigeria In the 1960s, international oil companies began to delve into Nigeria’s natural gas reserves in the hopes of gaining great international profit. Tunde Obadina, a correspondent of the United Nations, claims that little consideration was given to the environmental aspects of the oil facilities because they were constructed during an early era of the oil market. These companies foresaw the potential wealth resulting from these reserves, particularly in Europe and Asia, while Africa’s domestic market did not have any significant use for this highly valued fossil fuel (“Nigeria: Harnessing…”). Today, the Niger Delta is suffering the repercussions of such neglect, both environmentally and socially. Oil flares are commonplace in the Delta, releasing a high number of pollutants into the atmosphere that contribute to greenhouse emissions. The World Bank has stated that ‘gas flared in Nigeria is equivalent to total annual power generation in sub-Saharan Africa…releasing some 35 million tons of carbon dioxide annually into the air” (“Nigeria: Harnessing…”). Such overwhelming waste of Nigeria’s largest export affects the profits of its economy as well as the environment (“Nigeria: History…”). Nigeria contributes to about ten percent of Shell’s global production and is home to some of its most promising reserves …” BBC News The Shell Oil Company in particular is commonly blamed for Nigeria’s oil situation because “Nigeria contributes to about ten percent of Shell’s global production and is home to some of its most promising reserves” (BBC News). Tom Peter from the Christian Science Monitor also reports that “more than 200 foreigners, mostly oil
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workers, have been taken hostage over the past [24] months” by the people of the Niger Delta. The Times, a London newspaper, reports that since the end of 2005, abductions have become an almost weekly occurrence. The fact that billions of dollars are profiting the oil companies that export oil from Nigeria, and not the region itself, is a significant motive behind these abductions (Ekeinde). It is not the abductors’ intention to harm the victims, but instead to demand ransom and change from the Nigerian government and oil company employers. Shell has admitted in several publications to contributing to the corruption in Nigeria, most specifically the government’s oil-based financial gains.
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