The Biggest Oil Spill in the World

4 Aug 2011 admin

PLATFORM featured on Channel 4 News this evening, providing analysis on two current news stories – the revelations of the full extent of environmental devastation in Ogoni land contained in the UN’s new report, and Shell’s admission of liability for two recent oil spills in Bodo, Ogoniland. Campaigner Ben Amunwa helped provide background research as the story rapidly unfolded.

Also, Shell’s spills in Nigeria were the top story on BBC World News, which featured a lengthier analysis from PLATFORM.

Earlier in the day, PLATFORM’s analysis was also quoted in’s report on the same story, available here. The article covered Shell’s double standards in Nigeria, and the potentially ground-breaking implications of the company’s admission of liability for the 2 recent oil spills in Bodo.

In the court case filed in Britain, Shell conceded liability and agreed to proceed under the jurisdiction of the English courts last month, [Lawyer, Dan] Leader told

The two spills in 2008 and 2009 at Bodo, Ogoniland, devastated the 69,000-person community, Leader said.

“The mood music is changing — oil companies are going to have to start no longer employing a double standard for the developing world and apply the same standards for America and Europe,” he told

Protest groups have increasingly tried to seek compensation against western oil companies in the firms’ home jurisdictions.

Ben Amunwa of the British group PLATFORM, which monitors international energy companies, said that depending on the compensation that is decided in this case, the agreement could usher in a flood of claims from communities in the region.

“The potential in this decision is that Shell could face a mountain of claims,” Amunwa explained.

The lawyers and rights groups have said the amount of oil in these two spillages alone was approximately 20 percent of the amount that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico following the BP  disaster.

“BP did more in 6-months for the U.S. communities than Shell has done in 50 years for the Ogoniland,” said Amnesty International’s [Audrey] Gaughran.

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