Monday, March 19, 2018

Oil Spills in the Niger Delta

The Niger Delta in Nigeria is the most productive oil-producing region in Africa. It has been relentlessly exploited, mostly to the economic benefit of western oil companies and corrupt politicians. It has also had a devastating impact on the local environment. Since oil drilling started in the 1950's it is estimated that between 9 and 13 million barrels of oil (1,400,000 and 2,100,000 m3) has been spilled. The government and oil companies have made little effort to control the environmental impact of the oil industry, nearly always deny responsibility for oil spills and try their hardest to avoid having to clean-up after spills.

Amnesty International's Niger Delta Oil Spills is an interactive map of oil company spills in the Niger Delta. This map is the result of a crowd-sourced effort to analyse oil spill investigation reports by volunteers around the world. This crowdsourced campaign analysed thousands of reports and photographs produced by companies in relation to oil spills in the region.

Using the interactive map you can view the locations of the oil spills derived from reading the oil spill investigation reports. The markers show the location of spills and are color-coded by the severity of each spill. The map includes options to filter the results shown by the two main oil companies operating in the region, Shell and Eni. If you click on a marker on the map you can view details about the spill and click through to read the oil spill report and any photos included in the report.

You can read more about how crowdsourcing was used to analyze oil spill records and the effect of oil spills on the Niger Delta in Amnesty International's Niger Delta Negligence.

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