Oil Pollution

Regional News • Europe
Dutch Court Orders Shell Oil to Pay for Harm Done to Nigerian Farmers
Channa Samkalden, lawyer for the Nigerian farmers, and Donald Pols, director of Milieudefensie
Channa Samkalden, lawyer for the Nigerian farmers, and Donald Pols, director of Milieudefensie Credit: Milieudefensie

Global environmental justice campaigners heralded a Dutch court's ruling Friday that Royal Dutch Shell's Nigerian subsidiary must pay punitive restitution to Nigerian villages for oil spill contamination that brought death, illness, and destruction to Nigerian farmers and communities.

Friends of the Earth said the ruling exceeded all expectations and marked the first time a multinational had been instructed by a Dutch court to uphold a duty of care for foreign operations.

The devastation, as Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) has previously described, has been vast:

Between 1976 and 1991, over two million barrels of oil-polluted Ogoniland in 2,976 separate oil spills. While oil production has ceased, pipelines operated by Shell still traverse the land, creeks and waterways. Leakages—caused by corroded pipelines as well as bandits—mean that the area is still plagued by oil spills.

Climate & Environment
Russia Admits to 'World's Largest' Arctic Oil Spill
Russia Admits to 'World's Largest' Arctic Oil Spill
Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2020, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 IGO)

According to a Russian top emergency official the fuel spill at an Artic power station earlier in 2020 has been the largest oil spill in world history.

Near the city of Norilsk around 21,000 tonnes of oil have spilled and contaminated surrounding ground and waterways following the collapse of a diesel oil tank on May 29.

Climate & Environment
Venezuelan oil tanker now under "minimal" risk to sink
Nabarima
Nabarima Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

After taking on water and tilting to one side, a damaged Venezuelan oil tanker poses no significant risk of spilling and causing an environmental catastrophe, officials of Trinidad & Tobago said Thursday.

The Venezuelan-flagged Nabarima, a 264-meter (866-foot) long ship believed to be almost filled to its capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude — had fallen inactive with the recent plunge in global energy demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic and to U.S. sanctions on the Venezuelan government that have scared away potential buyers of the country’s heavy crude.

Regional News • World
UN holds meeting over fears that abandoned tanker off Yemens's coast could release 1.1 million barrels of crude into ocean
UN holds meeting over fears that abandoned tanker off Yemens's coast could release 1.1 million barrels of crude into ocean
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

United Nations have met and discussed possible actions to prevent a breach of the FSO Safer tanker that is anchored off Yemen's coast near the port of Hodeida. The 45-year-old tanker has been abandoned, is under the control of the Iran-backed Huthis and carries 1.1 million barrels of crude oil. The UN Security Council fears that in case the tanker explodes or leaks, the oil would destroy the environment and livelihood of tens of thousands of people that depend on fishing in the area.

The UN Security Council has reportedly proposed a plan to conduct repairs on the ship to which the Huthis had previously agreed in 2019, only for the mission to get cancelled in the last minute. In May a leak in the engine room has been repaired alorad but according to the British UN mission "a permanent solution is urgently needed".