U.N. report: Nigeria oil cleanup could take 30 years, cost $1 billion
A man walks along the oil-fouled edge of the Niger Delta swamps of Bodo, a village in Nigeria's oil-producing Ogoniland region.
August 4th, 2011
12:58 PM ET

U.N. report: Nigeria oil cleanup could take 30 years, cost $1 billion

Restoration of Nigeria's environmentally devastated oil-producing Niger Delta region could take up to $1 billion and 30 years and amount to the world's largest-ever cleanup operation, a landmark United Nations report said Thursday.

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report said pollution from more than 50 years of oil operations in Ogoniland is more far reaching than thought.

The assessment, commissioned by the Nigerian government and funded by oil giant Shell, comes on the heels of the company admitting liability for two spills in Nigeria. A spokesman said Shell welcomed the report.

"We will study the contents carefully and will comment further once we have done so," the spokesman said.

Nigeria's Niger Delta, the world's third largest wetland, is diverse and rich with mangroves and fish-rich waterways. But oil drilling has turned it into one of the most oil-polluted places on Earth 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 the environmental disaster has never received the kind of attention paid to last year's oil catastrophe along the Gulf Coast.

Amnesty International, which has researched the human rights impacts of pollution in the Delta, said people in the region have experienced oil spills on par with the Exxon Valdez disaster every year for the last half century.

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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. fernace

    Amen& Right On to the new anthem & US prayer! Needs to be stopped! Where are the people with consideration, common sense & sense of fairness!? In danger of extinction, it seems!!

    August 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. fernace

    @ old & nice, I am nice looking & talking! Probably too nice for my own good, but can't change now & don't want to if I could! I enjoy being me! Why, wanna ask me for a date??

    August 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. old n nice

    @fernace, I'm afraid you are not nice looking, don't care about your age, I'm 51. Of course I will date you, but like I said I don't want surprises.

    August 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. American-African

    My mom was sold to an African slave ring, so I was born in Africa. I have until I'm 18 to sue the government here for reparations. I'd sue the slave traders too, but nobody else does so why should I? I'm planning on opening up a casino with my settlement money, but only as a front for my hacky-sack operation. That's where the real money is in Africa. It sure isn't in the oilfields and diamond mines, that's for sure. Not for Africans anyway. Not even A merican-Africans. Most of Africa's leaders are doing purty good though, 'cept for the ones being forced to retire from their bribe-taking carrers.

    August 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. A merican antheem

    !A merica! Si senor. Taco?

    August 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Afro Turf's 'Running of the Bulls: Elephant edition

    Commmme to Ahfreeka. Find out how slow natives are really black stuff in-between Elephant's toes. (even when it's head looks like a Donkey)

    August 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. African Leader

    "let me get this straight. For all of those bars of caste iron on your ship, all you want is 300 peoples? Ok. Deal. ///fast-forward 200 years/// "OK. Let me get this straight. For all those bars of gold, all you want is oil? Deal.

    August 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. leeintulsa

    Shell acts like they had no idea, and are happy these millions of barrels of oil can finally be accounted for. How sick..

    August 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. fernace

    @ old & nice I am nice looking, don't have to lie, but I don't date, so answer to that would be No! I'm a Born Again Virgin & pretty fanatical about it, so don't get me started on the subject cause I'll never shut up....

    August 4, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • HIKER

      cool dude...and you don't hear this from other dudes a whole lot, so print this one..cause you'll never hear it from me again! LOL night all

      August 5, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. ajd041

    So many long posts I thought I'd never make it to the bottom to comment...

    August 5, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. okocha stephanie 300 level mass communication

    Nigeria has been so dependent on other developing countries. this is an example, we can't even clean up our own mess.

    December 21, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
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