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Oil giants Shell and Chevron Canalization polluted Tsekelewu Community, Nigeria

Oil extraction from the '80s have brought heavy pollution, now exacerbated by gas flaring stations and canals from the Atlantic Ocean by Shell and Chevron to access their oil facilities


Tsekelewu community is one of the ten Ijaw communities that made up the Egbema clan in Warri North, Delta State. It is situated in a boundary between Delta and Ondo state and is blessed with abundant deposits of crude oil within its environment. It is host to Chevron and Shell Petroleum Development Company since the 1980s. Apart from several oil wells and pipelines crisscrossing the environment, Shell’s Opuama Flow Station and Chevron’s Opuekeba Flow station that flare gas are located in the community environment. A third oil company, Sahara Energy has also concluded an Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] with a view to operate at Tsekelewu Marginal Field. In 2011, the local organization Environmental Rights Action (ERA)’s attention was drawn to the plight of Tsekelewu people, as they have been forced to contend with the adverse impacts of canals constructed from the Atlantic Ocean by Shell and Chevron to access their oil facilities. These canals that were constructed in the early 1980s have adversely affected the ecosystem, poisoning water and vegetation and by extension, livelihoods.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Oil giants Shell and Chevron Canalization polluted Tsekelewu Community, Nigeria
State or province:Delta State
Location of conflict:Egbama clan in Warri North
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:Unknown
Type of populationSemi-urban
Company names or state enterprises:Chevron from United States of America
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Chevron Nigeria Limited from Nigeria
Sahara Group Ltd. from Nigeria
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) from Nigeria
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Environmental Rights Action (ERA)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Impunity of the polluting activities
Development of alternatives:ERA DEMANDS:
1 The Federal and State governments compel Chevron and Shell take prompt steps to remediate the environment and compensate the people.
2 Chevron and Shell provide alternative source of drinking water for the community
3 Shell and Chevron dialogue with the community to avoid violent conflicts as a result of their (oil companies) actions which have created problems for community folks.
4 The community seek legal redress to make Shell and Chevron accountable for their plight
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:No
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

ERA report of the Field Visit 2011
[click to view]

The Nation - Save us from extinction, Delta community begs state, federal govts
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Afoke Ohwojeheri, ERA
Last update15/03/2018
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