Dialogue with NGOs on oil spills in Nigeria

Managing oil spills has been analysed by numerous local and international NGOs for some years. Interest in this issue grew after UNEP published a report in 2011 on contamination from hydrocarbons in Ogoniland, Nigeria (although eni does not operate in this region).

The Chatham House report “Nigeria’s Criminal Crude: International Options to Combat the Export of Stolen Oil” published in September 2013 states that bunkering (theft of oil) amounted to 100,000 barrels/day in the first quarter of 2013. Furthermore, the same report estimates an annual loss due to these activities of between 3 and 8 billion dollars. In March 2013, eni declared a state of force majeure and arranged to close down all onshore operations in the so-called Swamp Area, in the Bayelsa state in Nigeria. The decision was taken due to the intensification of bunkering operations, or rather the sabotage of the oil pipelines in order to siphon off the crude. This situation has lately reached unsustainable levels, both from the point of view of peoples’ safety and of environmental damage. In 2013 Amnesty International published a new report (“Bad information”) on the oil spills in Nigeria due to the activities of oil & gas companies, which include eni. As for the document published in 2009 (“Petroleum Pollution and Poverty in the Niger delta”),

eni has worked with the NGO to provide information and respond to specific requests referred to in the document. eni reiterates its timely intervention in case of any oil spill. Their causes are thoroughly analysed (in 2013 over 90% were due to sabotage), and shared with all the stakeholders, including competent authorities and local representatives.

Through its local subsidiary NAOC, eni, launched a sustainability website at the beginning of 2014. This provides information on oil spills, flaring emissions and a summary of the impact studies.