Rush to Clean Up Nigeria's Offshore Oil Spill

Shell is at it again.

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Oil spill allegedly caused by Shell equipment failure in August 2011 (Getty Images/AFP)

Sophie Mongalvy of the American Foreign Press is reporting that authorities are rushing to clean up Nigeria's worst oil spill in recent history, before the crude reaches the West African nation's shoreline. The leak occurred Thursday at Shell's Bonga Field, some 120 kilometers from Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer. Production was halted at the field, which pumps up to 200,000 barrels per day.

Shell claimed that up to 50 percent of the oil had dissipated as a result of natural dispersion and that less than 40,000 barrels of crude have spilled into the sea. While this information has not been independently verified, efforts to keep the oil spill from reaching Nigeria's shoreline are in effect.

Although the spill is being compared to 1998's Mobil oil spill, it is being reported that Nigeria was better prepared to handle the spill with more than 200,000 tons of dispersant. Shell is deploying planes and mobilizing airplanes to combat the spill with dispersants. London-based Oil Response Limited has also been involved in the cleanup.

We suppose when it rains, it pours. This oil spill and the Christmas bombings this year have hit Nigeria hard. It has previously been reported that foreign companies spill more than 1.5 million tons of oil in Nigeria each year.

Shell continues to devastate ecosystems while lining the pockets of London-based companies. Hopefully Nigeria will be spared another atrocity, like the oil reaching the shoreline, which would be an even greater disaster.

Read more at AFP.

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