Have You Heard of Nigeria’s Oil Leakages?

Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images

While the eyes of the world are fixed on the BP oil leakage in the Gulf of Mexico outside of Louisiana, US, another much less publicized leak has been ongoing for decades in the oil rich Niger delta in Nigeria, reports the Guardian (and today Swedish newspaper DN).

The Guardian article states:

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…With 606 oilfields, the Niger delta supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports and is the world capital of oil pollution. Life expectancy in its rural communities, half of which have no access to clean water, has fallen to little more than 40 years over the past two generations. Locals blame the oil that pollutes their land and can scarcely believe the contrast with the steps taken by BP and the US government to try to stop the Gulf oil leak and to protect the Louisiana shoreline from pollution.

What can Ghana and our emerging oil industry learn from this mess?

Pic borrowed from Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images at Pikele.

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  1. Very sad. Ken Saro-Wira raised his voice against this years ago and they took his life for doing so.
    Our leaders that allow this to continue should be ashamed of themselves.

  2. I had read the Guardian article, and felt very sad that so, so much hoo-haa is being made about the situation in the Gulf of Mexico and so little about what has been happening in the Niger Delta. And yes, Ken Saro-Wiwa did raise all these issues so many years ago. Question: where are our own Ghanaian environmental advocates with oil coming on-stream soon in our part of the world?

  3. Thanks Mike for your point. I should probably read up on Saro-Wiwa, barely remember what happened there. And Nina, your question is on the spot – where are the Ghanaians who care?

  4. Thanks for the article Kajsa. The Nigeria situation is sad, and just goes to show that alot of western countries are not that concerned about the developing world unless it directly impacts them. So unless some war or crisis has a impact on their way of life and also financially, they won’t make a move. Its about protecting their people and their investments. The Delta leak has very little direct impact, they still import the oil they need from Nigeria and thats fine. No need to make noise if production is on track.
    Honestly what that means is we need to take care of our own. We can’t keep accusing or pointing our fingers at the western world for not doing anything. Its up to us to talk about it and bring awareness to the situation. Sometimes though you can feel a little defeated – this is Nigeria, God knows what it’ll take to get someone’s attention and action on the Delta leak.
    Makes you feel like whats the use?

  5. Hi Boakyewaa,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I share your sentiment on the Nigeria situation…but maybe the horrible Gulf of Mexico leak can be good for at least bringing light on the Niger delta situation.

    I guess the hopeful window for Ghana is the oil has not yet started flowing, so much can still be prevented. But by whom?

  6. I had no idea! I live in Germany, and last night they showed a documentary on this leakage. It was shocking. They also showed how young boys made diesel out of the oil, in a very primitive and dangerous manner. This year 6 boys already died from the explosions. They bribe the police with half their income, so they can produce the diesel. Corruption is just everywhere. But the worst is, that this hasn’t been publicised as it should.have been. So glad to have found this blog!

  7. Hi Angelica, who had put together the documentary (which sounds more than interesting)? Thanks for finding my blog!