photo by Jenn Farr (Flickr CC)

Research commissioned by the human rights group Amnesty International found that an oil spill in the Niger Delta was at least 60 times worse than claims made by the oil giant Shell.

Royal Dutch Shell is currently being sued over the spill in a London Court by a group of 11,000 Nigerians, including many fishermen of the Bodo region, who claim their livelihoods were destroyed.

Though 60 times Shell’s figure, the Amnesty International estimate is still half of what Martyn Day, lawyer for the Bodo communities puts the damage at.

From Reuters:

The Amnesty accusation is based on footage of one of the oil leaks sent to Washington State-based research company Accufacts, which examined the flow rate from the film and found it to be between one and three barrels a minute.

A minimum of 60 times Shell’s estimate by an independent US oil spill consultancy firm is an embarrassing figure for the global oil and gas firm.

From the Guardian:

The evidence of Shell’s bad practice in the Niger delta is mounting. Shell seems more interested in conducting a PR operation than a cleanup operation. The problem is not going away; and sadly neither is the misery for the people of Bodo.

–Patrick Naagbanton, co-ordinator of the local oil watch group Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD)

Shell continues to stand by its original estimate of the spill.