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Shell may have grossly underestimated the 2008 oil spill in Nigeria

April 24, 2012

Amnesty International recently exposed a massive cover up by Royal Dutch Shell concerning the amount of oil that spilled in the Niger delta in 2008. When the incident occurred near the town of Bodo in Ogoniland, the international oil company claimed about 1,640 barrels of oil were spilled and the claim was backed by local and national representatives, according to The Guardian. An independent oil spill consultant from the U.S., Accufacts, examined video footage of the spill and estimated the spill amount to be between 103,000 and 311,000 barrels of oil over the 72 days in which the substance poured into the waters surrounding Bodo.

"The difference is staggering - even using the lower end of the Accufacts estimate, the volume of oil spilt at Bodo was more than 60 times the volume Shell has repeatedly claimed leaked," said Audrey Gaughran, director of global issues at Amnesty International.

Reuters reports a group of local Nigerians filed suit against Shell a few months ago. The claim is that the spill destroyed their livelihood as fishing is the main source of income for many Bodo residents.

Those who want to find out more about this story as it unfolds can make calls to Nigeria with calling cards.

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