What If BP Had Never Spilt Oil in the Gulf of Mexico?

Posted: July 16, 2010 in Uncategorized
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The world  was shaken with the same news  on 20.04.2010.BP Oil Spill in  Gulf of Mexico .It was  the first  headline we read on every newspaper and heard  on  every TV channel  that morning. How could that happen to  USA? President Obama’s anger  was  in the taste of our morning coffee.

The tension between BP’s  top manager Tony Hayward and  the President Obama  kept everybody’s eyes wide open  all  day and the  following days. Was Hayward going to stay or go? Second  worry  was BP’s share price. Of course, how could we forget that  ,we all own a little bit of BP ,don’t we ?

Palican covered with oil after BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

We all wanted to know  who did it, why did this happen, how could BP dare to ignore if it knew the possible danger ,what was supposed to be done now, how could it be stopped with the least cost, how was oil spill going to affect the country’s economy  and ecosystem , what was going to happen next? We  all thouhgt  about the answers  as we heard the news  every hour. We were all worried, how couldn’t we be? That was our dearest  America.

All the scientist, environmentalists, politicians, law makers photojournalists, journalists , economists  were alerted to look for a solution. How couldn’t they?

Every step of repair  was shown with a clear map  and detailed explanation everyday  and   eventually  leakage point was sealed off with a cap on 13.07.2010.We finally took  a deep breath after almost three months.

On the other hand, another fact was screaming  in other part of the world which had  been ignored for half a century. Nigeria!Royal Dutch/Shell, Chevron, Exon Mobil have been extracting oil and causing spill in Nigeria past 50 years  and the same world has not been saying a word apart from the effort  human rights  organisations  such as Amnesty International and  some NGOs  such as  Justice In Nigeria Now(JIIN),Publish What You Pay have made. How could we say something? It was only Nigeria.

Nigerians' 50 years old struggle with Shell's oil spill in the land.

“People living in the Niger Delta have to drink ,cook with and wash in polluted water. They eat fish  contaminated with oil and other toxins-if they are lucky enough to be able to still find fish. The land they farm on is being destroyed .After oil spills the air they breath smells of oil, gas and other pollutants .People complain of breathing problems and skin lesions and yet neither the government nor oil companies monitor the human impacts of oil pollution.” ,said Andrey  Gaughan ,Head of Bussiness and Human Rights at the press conference of the  Petroleum, Pollution and Poverty in the Niger Delta Report of Amnesty International ,on 30.06.2009. Gaughan  is also co-author of the report according to Amnesty International ‘s archived documents.

The report also showed that between nine million and 13 million of barrels had leaked in the five decades of oil operations. It also quoted  UN figures of more than 6.800 recorded spills between 1976 and 2001.

“The Nigerian Government is failing in its obligation to respect and protect the rights of the people in the Niger Delta to food, water, health and livelihood ,said Gaughan and added , “Some oil companies  have taken advantage of this government failure and have shown a shocking disregard for human impact of their activities.” .

Nigerians did not have their government or  any other organisations to protect them against those oil companies. They only had themselves. On 10.10.1995 ,eight peace activists including internationally recognised   Ken Soro Wiwa  were executed after being convicted. Wiwa  and his colleagues were fighting for people’s right in Niger  Delta  which were  taken away from them by Shell  for more and more oil extraction in the land.

Nothing has changed ,people are still suffering and oil companies such as Shell, Chevron, Exon Mobil  are still abusing them- who don’t operate in the same way in Europe and the US. According to JINN,on 05.07.2010 Nigeria Federal Court ordered Shell to pay 15.5million naira(approximately US $100m) in special and punitive damages to a Rivers State community for oil spill of last 50 years. Is that enough to bring  back all those ruined lives? Can it be enough to cure all that exploitation of last five decades?

Why didn’t  we get shaken with this news? Why would we? It was only Nigeria.

Recently ,we see a few publications mentioning oil spill in  Niger Delta which is world’s eighth largest  oil exporter and has the largest natural gas reserves and second largest oil reserves in Africa. Nigeria  who  sells half of its oil to USA is now getting noticed after  BP ‘s oil spill.

What if BP did not spill oil? Was Nigeria and Nigerians’ 50 years old  exploitation going to be neglected?

What if BP had  spilt  the same amount of oil in Nigeria? Was it going to  take only three months to stop the spill or another  50 years?

  1. fahad says:

    very very nice writing really

  2. fahad says:

    you have rally touched a burning issue by raising the voice which has not been heard by the elites for so long .


  3. Yes, this point out how unfair our world is. Companies in oil, mining, weapons, etc, do a lot for destroy this planet. Well written of you, continue the god work!

  4. […] What If BP Had Never Spilt Oil in the Gulf of Mexico? (sefrew.wordpress.com) […]

  5. John says:

    What’s up to every one, since I am truly keen of reading this weblog’s post to be updated on a regular basis.
    It contains good material.

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