Posts Tagged ‘Bonga spill’

From one disaster to another

Gulf oysters: two years later, still sick

The two year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion is just a days away, and as Bryan Walsh from Time magazine puts it, the “oil spill seems to divide people into two categories: those who can’t forget, and those who refuse to remember. In the first camp are Gulf Coast residents and environmentalists who say the region still hasn’t recovered from the worst oil spill in U.S. history, and who are still waiting to be made whole—as BP once promised. In the second is much of the oil industry and many Republicans, who like to complain that offshore drilling has slowed under President Obama, yet seem to forget the multi-billion dollar damage that the oil spill left, and the months it took to repair the Macondo blowout.”

You can read more in his article, Nearly two years on, did the BP oil spill have to happen to BP?

And while we’re wondering about the inevitability of BP’s spill, Total’s North Sea gas leak appears to be much worse than originally reported:

Sitting on a powder keg of highly flammable natural gas and gas condensate, the French oil major’s rig could be one of the worst oil disasters in the North Sea. A gas cloud, made mostly of methane, has essentially enveloped the rig after attempts to shut a troubled production failed and caused a leak. If this cloud — which is growing by roughly 200,000 cubic meters a day — ignites, it could be catastrophic.

Clearly, the potential for human and environmental tragedy is the paramount concern here, much as it was with BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Continue reading . . .

Bonga spill investigation ordered

When will protection of the environment become a priority? Photo: Christiane Badgley

The Nigerian government has mandated an investigation into the cause and effect of the Bonga oil spill on December 20th.

An NGO has also raised questions regarding Shell’s use of dispersants without any monitoring or assessment plan.

Fishermen are blaming the spill for a dwindling fish supply and rising prices.

Meanwhile, Shell is moving ahead with its plans to drill in the Arctic waters off Alaska.



“The polluter is strangely in charge of the regulators.”

Photo: Royal Dutch Shell PLC

That’s a perfect line to sum up the oil industry in Nigeria.

Day two of the general strike and ongoing sectarian violence have pushed news of the Bonga field oil spill to the back pages, but in the end it’s all about oil. Whether it’s pollution on the beach, corruption or violence, the source of Nigeria’s malaise is oil.

But back to that line, “The polluter is strangely in charge of the regulators.” That’s from an editorial that appeared on January 9th in the Nigerian Compass.

Continue reading . . .

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