Aug. 20 (UPI) -- An export pipeline in the Niger Delta remained closed after a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell said it was responding to a release of crude oil.
The subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria Ltd., said a multilateral investigation unit was reviewing what led to the Sunday release from its Trans Ramos oil pipeline in the Niger Delta. Though no estimated spill volume was released, by the company, 95 percent of it was already recovered from two impacted communities in the region.
Amnesty International has expressed frustration over the legacy of oil spills in the Niger Delta region. The rights group said the Shell and Italian energy company Eni combined reported more than 550 spills in the area in 2016.
Global Witness last year joined Nigerian anti-corruption campaigners in working to expose what they said was an opaque corporate reputation in the country. Global Witness director Simon Taylor said that, working with Italian energy company Eni, the Dutch supermajor was stained by corruption.
Amnesty International figures there were on average 10 oil spills per year in Europe in the 40 years ending in 2011. Companies working in Nigeria have blamed saboteurs and thieves for damage to their pipeline infrastructure, though rights groups have said those claims are "hotly contested."
The Shell subsidiary said the Trans Ramos pipeline is closed while the latest incident is under investigation. A representative of the company said spills were regrettable.
"As soon as clean-up and site assessment are completed, we are committed to starting the immediate remediation of the impacted areas in Aghoro and Odimodi," the company said in the statement.
Nigeria's economy emerged from recession in the second quarter of last year and the country's central bank said the situation was steadily improving on the back of higher oil prices. Growth in the first quarter was 1.95 percent against a 0.91 percent contraction in the same period last year.