Shell oil spill worst in a decade, says Nigerian regulator

Nigeria’s oil spill agency, NOSDRA, says that Shell’s Bonga oil spill “is likely the worst in a decade.”

Peter Idabor of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency told The Associated Press on Thursday that oil from the spill in Shell’s Bonga field has spread to roughly 100 nautical miles. Idabor said he expects oil to begin washing ashore on Nigeria’s southern coast later Thursday. Continue reading “Shell oil spill worst in a decade, says Nigerian regulator”

Sattelite images of Shell’s massive oil spill in Nigeria


Envisat ASAR image analyzed by SkyTruth ( - data courtesy European Space Agency

The Bonga oil field, one of Shell’s largest offshore oil facilities was shut down on Tuesday 20 December after a massive oil spill. The cause? It appears to be a combination of human error and / or equipment failure. What the BBC describes as “leak during a transfer of oil to a tanker” led to a reported 40,000 barrels of crude oil spilling into Nigerian waters.

Continue reading “Sattelite images of Shell’s massive oil spill in Nigeria”

Platform is hiring – Energy Policy Campaigner

Energy Policy Campaigner: Summary Job Description

Do you want to shift UK policy away from supporting destructive oil and gas projects and repressive dictatorships?

Platform is a leading charity that combines arts, research and campaigning for social and environmental justice. We run global campaigns against pipelines, pollution and human rights abuses and are widely recognised as the “oil industry watchdog”.

Platform’s Carbon Web project aims to undermine the links between UK oil companies and those who support them, such as government departments, investors and cultural institutions. As Energy Policy Campaigner, you will play a central role in delivering the Carbon Web programme. You will be responsible for driving multiple campaigns that demand corporate and government accountability. Working with a dynamic team of six campaigners, your task will be to challenge the oil companies who are shaping UK policy and to campaign for greater democratic control over government decision-making.
You will be an experienced campaigner, able to demonstrate sound political judgment whilst keeping pace with fast-moving global debates and issues. You will have strong communications and media skills and be motivated to influence the policy agenda and bring human rights to the centre of UK and EU external energy policy.

Download full job description in PDF

Download full job description in Word

How to apply:

Please send us:
1. Your CV
2. A Cover Letter explaining why you want this job, why you would like to join Platform, and where you saw the job advertised
3. A 1 page Supporting Statement telling us how you meet the Person Specification.

Please email by 6.00pm on Monday 23 January 2012. Please use the subject heading: ‘Energy Policy Campaigner’.

Or apply by post to:
7 Horselydown Lane

If you are interested and would like to discuss the role informally, please contact Ben Amunwa on +44 (0)207 403 3738. Due to limited capacity we are unable to reply to applicants who have not been invited for interview. Interviews: Monday 30 January – Tuesday 31 January. Potential second round interviews in w/c 6 February.

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Event: Fighting the Oil Giant, at The Phoenix Artists Club

Below is a message from Lifelines who are organising a great event in memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa.
“Dear Friends,

We have a remarkable line up for Lifelines’ next gig, Fighting The Oil Giant, to be held at The Phoenix Artists Club , off Charing X Rd on Wednesday 30th November at 7.30pm.

John Haynes is the winner of the Costa Award for Poetry in 2006 and the Troubador Poetry Prize (2007). He lived in Nigeria for 18 years.

Joshua Idehen is a founding member of fusion performance group Benin City. He is described as one of the most talented spoken word artists, not just from Nigeria, but of his generation.
Anne Rouse is a gifted wordsmith, whose numerous books, including The Sunset GrillThe School of Night and Timing have been published by Bloodaxe to international acclaim.
Richard Evans is the author of two exquisite collections, The Zoo Keeper and Orbiting.
More details…Fighting the Oil Giant pits performers against the might, (or should that be shite?) of Shell and Chevron, both linked with murders, human rights abuses and environmental destruction on a massive scale in the Niger Delta. Shell alone have extracted hundreds of billions of petrodollars in profit from Nigeria, cynically fueling local conflicts and fouling up the water supply in the regions their pipelines run through, in the process. Oil spills have been systematically leaching into the water table for over 45 years poisoning fish, crops and vulnerable people.  While the Oil Giants’ directors and shareholders sit back on obscene profits, many in Nigeria cannot drink clean water nor find an uncontaminated meal.Fighting the Oil Giant is a fundraising gig in support of the Remember Saro-Wiwa campaign, coordinated by Platform, London. Ken Saro-Wiwa was a writer and activist, a member of the Ogoni Nine who were all executed by the Nigerian state on November 10th, 1995 for standing up to The Oil Giant.

You will find details and a map of the venue here
Tickets cost £7 / £5 concessions and can be purchased on the door
All money will be donated to The Remember Saro-Wiwa campaign.

Hope to see you there! And please forward this to anyone you think would be interested.”

Protest Exposes Shell’s Grim Record on Human Rights

Last night Shell came face to face with its grim record on human rights in Nigeria at a corporate event for London’s bright young entrepreneurs. Protesters in haunting costumes from London Rising Tide stormed the Shell Live Wire event, unfurling a large banner and distributing leaflets to event attendees.

Watch the video by you and i films here:

The protest coincides with the 16th anniversary of the execution of writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists for their campaign against the environmental and social devastation caused by Shell and the Nigerian military regime. In response to peaceful protests by the minority Ogoni people in Nigeria, Shell collaborated with the military in a series of brutal crackdowns in the 1990s that claimed the lives of thousands. In October 2011, Platform released a new report on Shell’s role in recent human rights abuses perpetrated by the Nigerian military. The report also reveals how Shell has fuelled conflict through payments to armed gangs in the Delta region.

Continue reading “Protest Exposes Shell’s Grim Record on Human Rights”

Own Up, Clean Up, Pay Up: Amnesty’s new report on Shell

Amnesty International today demanded that Shell immediately pay $1 billion towards an initial clean up fund for the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta, a scheme recommended by the UN this August.

new report today published by Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) has called on Shell to accept responsibility for the pollution caused by oil spills in the Niger Delta, and to begin by paying US$1 billion as an initial down-payment towards the clean-up.

The report highlights how Shell’s pollution has wrecked lives and livelihoods in the town of Bodo, Ogoni, which was home to 69,000 people. Shell had caused two major oil spills there in 2008-2009 which became  the subject of a UK lawsuit filed at the High Court in April. The company was forced to admit liability and could be made to pay up to $410 million in compensation and clean up the damage. Amnesty condemned the company’s response to the spills:

Shell – which recently reported profits of US$ 7.2bn billion for July-September 2011 – initially offered the Bodo community just 50 bags of rice, beans, sugar and tomatoes as relief for the disaster.

CEHRD’s Coordinator, Patrick Naagbanton said:

“The situation in Bodo is symptomatic of the wider situation in the Niger Delta oil industry. The authorities simply do not control the oil companies. Shell and other oil companies have the freedom to act – or fail to act – without fear of sanction. An independent, robust and well-resourced regulator is long overdue; otherwise even more people will continue to suffer at the hands of the oil companies.”

AI also acknowledged that the UK government’s proposed cuts to the legal aid budget could make the UK courts inaccessible to the victims of corporate human rights abuses, such as Shell’s in Nigeria:

This report reinforces the need for victims of the overseas operations of UK companies to have access to justice in the UK. This is now under threat because of provisions in the Government’s Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders that would change the balance of costs against complainants bringing cases such as Bodo to the UK courts, and in favour of the multinational corporations defending such cases. If the Bill passes, such cases would no longer be viable.


A quick plug for our new (and beautiful) printed reports

Counting the Cost, Platform’s new report on Shell Nigeria, is now available in print! Please buy your copy here. The report looks and feels incredible, thanks to our amazing designers at Ultimate Holding Company.

Buying a copy of the report enables Platform to do more campaigning for human rights and corporate accountability in Nigeria. Your support is already having a real impact:

  • In the last 10 days, over 13,900 of you signed a petition demanding that Shell is held accountable for its human rights abuses in Nigeria.
  • Following the public outrage and media generated by the report, on Wednesday 5 October, the House of Representatives, part of Nigeria’s legislative body ordered an official investigation into the allegations that Shell fuelled violence in the Niger Delta by paying armed militant gangs.

The campaign is long and hard, but your ongoing support is vital. Please take a moment to support the campaign by getting yourself a copy (or two!) of the new report. Thank you in advance, and extra thanks go to our friends at New Internationalist for hosting the report in their inspiring shop!

PS. If you can’t afford to buy a copy now, the report is also available in pdf.

TAKE ACTION: Demand corporate accountability

The Global Greengrants Fund has set  up an online petition calling on Shell to immediately clean up its appalling pollution in the Niger Delta and end its daily human rights abuses.

The action has collected over 14,900 signatures since Wednesday 19 October. Let’s see if we can hit 20,000 by the end of the week! Please sign the petition now.


Canada’s Dirty and Dangerous Tar Sands

When the pro-tar sands lobby group pounced on Platform’s new research on Nigeria to justify Canada’s “blood oil”, we were disgusted. Here is my blog response in The Huffington Post Canada. (Note they changed the title from ‘tar sands’ to the more innocuous ‘oil sands’).

Canada’s Dirty and Dangerous Oil Sands has a reputation for using just about anything to promote Canada’s tar sands. The local mayor, Aboriginals and environmentalists have all been thrust into’s narrative, some against their will. This Monday it was my turn to get ‘tarred’ as the website’s spokesperson Kathryn Marshall declared herself to be on “the very same page” as me. The assertion could not be further from the truth.

I work for Platform, a UK based charity that is opposed to the exploitation of tar sands in Canada. We focus our campaigning efforts on key UK companies that are heavily invested in the tar sands, including BP, Shell and the Royal Bank of Scotland. We work with global allies such as Indigenous Environmental Network and Rainforest Action Network. We also oppose the ongoing human rights abuses and environmental devastation caused by Shell and its partners in Nigeria and beyond.

Continue reading here.

Report ties Shell to human rights abuse, environmental destruction in Niger Delta

US radio station FSRN interviews Platform’s Ben Amunwa on the new report, Counting the Cost, which implicates Shell in new human rights abuses in the Niger Delta.

The interview includes reference to the different ways that Shell’s ‘community development’ projects have undermined stability, and the company’s appalling record of environmental destruction and oil spills. The full report is available here.

Remember Saro-Wiwa is a coalition of organisations and individuals, initiated and co-ordinated by...


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