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Nigeria's Niger Delta is one of the most oil-polluted places on the planet with more than 6,800 recorded oil spills, accounting for anywhere from 9 million to 13 million barrels of oil spilled, according to activist groups.
But occurring over the 50 years since oil production began in the Delta, this environmental disaster has never received the attention that is now being paid to the oil-spill catastrophe hitting the U.S. Gulf coast. "The whole world is trembling and even the president of America had to do a personal visit to the site.
The U.S. will have put serious measures in place to stop such situations happening in the future," said Ken Tebe -- a local environmental activist who is visibly shaken by what he regards as a double standard.
In its June 2009 report, Petroleum, Pollution and Poverty, Amnesty said independent environmental and oil experts estimated between nine million and 13 million of barrels had leaked in the five decades of oil operations. It also quoted U.N. figures of more than 6,800 recorded spills between 1976 and 2001.
The 700,000-square-kilometer Niger Delta is one of the most important wetlands in the world and home to 31 million people -- 60 percent of whom, according to the U.N. Development Program, depend on the natural environment for their livelihoods.
Originally posted by LadySkadi
Proof positive, as there are no responses to this issue, since the posting.
Originally posted by LadySkadi
The US imports approximately 10% of it's oil from Nigeria, making it Nigeria's 5th largest consumer.
Does the US bear some responsibility for the 50+ year environmental and economical disaster in the Delta?
Quote from : Wikipedia : Petroleum Industry In Nigeria : Oil Spills
Oil spills in Nigeria occur due to a number of causes which include: corrosion of pipelines and tankers (accounts for 50% of all spills), sabotage (28%), and oil production operations (21%), with 1% of the spills being accounted for by inadequate or non-functional production equipment.
The largest contributor to the oil spill total, corrosion of pipes and tanks, is the rupturing or leaking of production infrastructures that are described as, "very old and lack regular inspection and maintenance".
A reason that corrosion accounts for such a high percentage of all spills is that as a result of the small size of the oilfields in the Niger Delta, there is an extensive network of pipelines between the fields, as well as numerous small networks of flowlines—the narrow diameter pipes that carry oil from wellheads to flowstations—allowing many opportunities for leaks.
In onshore areas, most pipelines and flowlines are laid above ground. Pipelines, which have an estimate life span of about fifteen years, are old and susceptible to corrosion.
Many of the pipelines are as old as twenty to twenty-five years.
Even Shell admits that "most of the facilities were constructed between the 1960s and early 1980s to the then prevailing standards.
SPDC [Shell Petroleum and Development Company] would not build them that way today."
Shell operates the Bonny Terminal in Rivers State, which has reportedly been in operation for forty years without a maintenance overhaul; its original lifespan was supposed to be twenty five years.
Sabotage is performed primarily through what is known as "bunkering",whereby the saboteur attempts to tap the pipeline, and in the process of extraction sometimes the pipeline is damaged or destroyed.
Oil extracted in this manner can often be sold for cash compensation.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation places the quantity of oil jettisoned into the environment yearly at 2,500 cubic meters with an average of 300 individual spills annually.
However, because this amount does not take into account "minor" spills, the World Bank argues that the true quantity of oil spilled into the environment could be as much as ten times the officially claimed amount.
Among the largest individual spills include the blowout of a Texaco offshore station which in 1980 dumped an estimated 400 million barrels (64,000,000 m3) of crude into the Gulf of Guinea and Shell's Forcados Terminal tank failure which produced a spillage estimated at 580 million barrels (92,000,000 m3).
One source projects that the total amount oil in barrels spilled between 1960 and 1997 is upwards of 100 million barrels (16,000,000 m3).
Quote from : Wikipedia : Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N.
Although many scientists suggest that the patch extends over a very wide area, with estimates ranging from an area the size of the state of Texas to one larger than the continental United States, the exact size is unknown.
This can be attributed to the fact that there is no specific standard for determining the boundary between the “normal” and “elevated” levels of pollutants and what constitutes being part of the patch.
The size is determined by a higher-than normal degree of concentration of pelagic debris in the water.
Recent data collected from Pacific albatross populations suggest there may be two distinct zones of concentrated debris in the Pacific.
The Patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.
Despite its size and density, the patch is not visible from satellite photography since it primarily consists of suspended particulates in the upper water column.
Since plastics break down to ever smaller polymers, concentrations of submerged particles are not visible from space, nor do they appear as a continuous debris field.
Instead, the patch is defined as an area in which the mass of plastic debris in the upper water column is significantly higher than average.
Why are we in the US demanding that BP be held accountable for the spill in the Gulf (as they should be, in my opinion) when those 5 companies listed above, are not being held accountable in the Niger Delta?