Royal Dutch Shell & The Nigeria Delta

Equity in the global competition - a contradiction in terms?

Essay, 2010

8 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents


1. Shell in Nigeria: What are the issues?
1.1 Pollution and environmental damage in the Niger -Delta
1.2 The human rights impacts of oil pollution

2. An approach from the “Shell perspective44 as a global player
2.1 The companies efforts to minimize destruction oflivelihoods
2.2 The global pressure on the industry that fuels the American dream

3. Conclusion

Tables and figures

Endnote section


The question of the compatibility of the world's economic efficiency and the distribution of material and social goods can - in times of globalization - no longer be discussed in a national economic framework. A quarter of the world's population produces and distributes four-fifths of the world production of goods and the rest of the world, three quarters, must get along with what remains. What doesn't seem to work very well: every year more than 10 million children die from malnutrition and disease, over a billion people living in extreme poverty. Is the wealth of the rich directly relatert to the poverty of the poor? Is there a connection between the economic efficiency of the global economy and the disaster of social distribution? In fact this connection can today no longer be denied. Even the World Bank concedes that unfavorable factors have led some countries to an uninterrupted downward trajectory. One of those countries is without doupt Nigeria! Especially the Niger Delta has become a hot topic among human rights activists, environementalists and fair trade supporters around the world. For some of them, the recent crises is caused by the Western ignorance and its willingness to degrade the popultion of the developing world to fill its own perceived energy needs. However causes and accountability for this ongoing environmental disaster are not conclusively . This paper will identify the extend to which oil companies profit of the oil resources coming from the Niger Delta while the local population still suffers from poverty. By doing that its of a great importance to identify and analyse both parties - the local nigerian people on the one hand and the international oil companies on the other hand - in order to confront their arguments. Of particular interest is the objective of Royal Dutch Shell as a multinational petroleum company dealing with the enormous pressure of the global competition and the blame to act unsustainable while the end of „hunger“ for energy amoung the industrialized world is not in sight.

1. Shell in Nigeria: What are the issues?

The Royal Dutch Shell Group, commonly referred to as Shell is made up of 1700 smaller companies all over the world. It is the largest energy company and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors'GOne of the largest oil producers in the group is Shell Nigeria. The Shell Petroleum Development Company ofNigeria (SPDC) extracts 80% of the oil in the Niger Delta, which is located in the south of the country. The Delta has massive oil deposits, which have generated billions of dollars in revenues.2 Despite this fact, the majority of the population of the Niger Delta lives in poverty (find annex #1&2). The oil industry in the Niger Delta has brought little or none benefit to the region and is often accused to steel natural recources and destroy the livehoods of the indigenous groups in the Niger Delta. The multi-dimensional dilemma is driven by the actions of the international oil companies such as Shell, the local nigerian government and militant groups who all contribute to extensive pollution of land and water, corruption, corporate failures and bad practice and serious government neglect.

1.1 Pollution and environmental damage in the niger delta

The environmental costs of oil production have been enormous. The main issues are oil spills, Gas flaring and oil fires. “The envioronemelntal damages include destruction of wildlife and biodiversity, loss of fertile soil, pollution of air and drinking water, degradation of farmland and damage to aquatic ecosystems, all of which have caused serious health problems for the inhabitants of areas surrounding oil production/4 3 As a consequence the region suffers from land degradation, erosion, flooding, destruction of the natural aquatic system, rivers full of toxic wast and so on. The United Nations warned in the Niger Delta Human Development Report, 2006 that “ the rate of environmental degradation is pushing the region towards ecological disaster” 4

1.2 The human rights impacts of oil pollution

“More than 60 per cent of people in the region depend on the natural environment for their livelihood,”5 said Audrey Gaughran of Amnesty International. But since the rivers and other water sources are contaminated with oil many of the local people are forced to use polluted drining water to drink and to cook and wash with, and eat fish that is polluted with oil and other toxins. As mentioned earlier, oil spills and waste dumping are also causing serious damage to agricultural land.


Excerpt out of 8 pages


Royal Dutch Shell & The Nigeria Delta
Equity in the global competition - a contradiction in terms?
University of California, Berkeley
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
627 KB
Berkeley College
Nigeria, Niger-Delta, Royal Dutch Shell, Ethics, oil, Erdöl, Gerechtigkeit, justice, moral, Erdölindustrie, petroleum industy, ogoni volk, csr, die gier nach öl, good governance, korruption, Ressoucen Fluch, paradox of plenty, Globalisierung
Quote paper
Anne Leuschner (Author), 2010, Royal Dutch Shell & The Nigeria Delta, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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