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Multiple oil spills by Agip/ENI's Ogboinbiri-Tebidaba pipeline in Niger Delta, Nigeria

Spills along the Ogboinbiri-Tebidaba pipeline have been so numerous. They heavily affect the communities' livelihoods living along it. It is all the more revolting these people have to fight for the company to take responsibility and clean-up the areas.


On the Niger delta, Agip’s oil Ogboinbiri-Tebidaba pipeline multiple spills over the years have been severely impacting local lives and farming lands. The pipeline is officially operated by Agip’s subsidiary, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (hereafter NAOC). What is more, the multinational delays to take responsibility or even denies doing so, adding up stress and despair among the communities that have to fight for the clean ups to occur. Thanks to the efforts led by Environmental Rights Action (hereafter ERA), namely Friends of the Earth Nigeria, who visits the concerned communities, there is some follow-up on these spills. Here we report some of the many cases that are continuously happening. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Multiple oil spills by Agip/ENI's Ogboinbiri-Tebidaba pipeline in Niger Delta, Nigeria
State or province:Bayelsa State
Location of conflict:Sourthen Ijaw local governmental area
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Oil and gas refining
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC), a Nigerian subsidiary of the multinational Agip (part of the ENI group) operates the crude oil pipeline Tebidaba-Ogboinbiri. NAOC operates in the land and swamp areas of the Niger Delta, under a joint venture arrangement with the two Nigerian companies: Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (60%) and Oando (20%). NAOC owns the 20% remaining shares. The joint venture enjoys concessions lying within Baylesa, Delta, Imo and Rivers States [1].

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Level of Investment:Unknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:Unknown
Start of the conflict:27/12/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) from Nigeria
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Agip Group from Italy
Oando PLC from Nigeria
Eni group from Italy
Relevant government actors:State Ministry of Environment, Bayelsa Command of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Bayelsa State government, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:ERA (Friends of the Earth Nigeria), Oilwatch Nigeria, Amnesty International
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local government/political parties
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other Health impacts
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Deaths
Other Health impactsincreased new borns mortality in the Niger Delta to be provoked by the oil spills
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Land dispossession
Other socio-economic impactsArmed rebel groups like the Avengers, terrorize the locals and provoke additional spills.
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Development of alternatives:Amnesty International considers that ENI is not taking its responsibilities seriously:
1. to prevent the spills. the recurrence of the spills show that the company is not adopting the necessary measures to prevent them from happening.
2. to adequately protect the hot spots along the pipeline subject o vandalism.
3. to react faster in case of spills, specially considering water sources' pollution
4. More transparency and reliable information on the spills, to better compensate the affected communities (who very often are not compensated at all).
So, the Nigerian government must undertake the necessary steps to make sure ENI and other companies involved in the Niger Delta comply with the national regulations. That also includes major responsibilities and agency for the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.
Another major structural problem that must be address and that Amnesty International mentions is the need that the government of Nigeria must holistically address the root causes of locals' discontent and frustrations, part of that anger pushes the youth to form the militia violent groups that terrorize the populations and whose vandalism pollute all the more the environment. Amnesty recalls that decades of oil drilling in the Niger Delta has not benefited the locals, highly due because the oil rent is subject to endemic corruption.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Agip happens to clean-up the environment after pipeline's spills yet these take too long to happen, directly jeopardizing the locals' means of livelihood and access to clean water. The situation is all the more dangerous and tricky when considering the exactions and vandalism committed by militia groups along the pipelines, motivated to protest against oil drilling or in order to steal the black gold for their own profit.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, 2015. Oil Spill Management in Nigeria: SWOT Analysis of the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) Process, Journal of Environmental Protection, (Vol.6 No.3 )
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Niger Delta Avengers and Niger Delta question: What way forward?, International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences, 5:9, September 2016
[click to view]

Nwoba, M. O. E. & Nwokwu, Paul M., 2018. Amnesty Programme and Security Situation in the Niger Delta Region: An Assessment, Journal of Psychology & Sociological Studies, 2: 1, 44-63
[click to view]

Negligence in the Niger Delta, Decoding Shell and ENI's poor record on spills, Amnesty International, 2018
[click to view]

S. Derrick Ngoran, 2011. Oil spill governance in the Niger Delta-Nigeria: Analysis of gaps and policy recommendation
[click to view]

Vandalization of Oil Pipelines in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria and Poverty: An Overview, 2012
[click to view]

J. Shola Omotola, 2009. “Liberation Movements” and Rising Violence in the Niger Delta: The New Contentious Site of Oil and Environmental Politics, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Agip Oil pipeline leak pollutes Bayelsa community, November 2016
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Nigeria: Communities in Bayelsa state suffering from recurrent Agip oil spills - parliament urges company to clean up spills
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Pollution dans le Delta du Niger: Shell et Eni mis en cause, Mars 2018
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Nigeria: scoperte gravi negligenze da parte di Shell ed Eni, 03/2018
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Bayelsa State, Nigeria
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ENI/Agip: Contamination of the Niger river delta
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Chief Roman Orukali, Paramount Ruler, Kalaba Community, Bayelsa State
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Shell, ENI accused of negligence over Niger Delta oil spills, March 2018
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Eni’s activities in Nigeria
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Fresh Leakage From Agip Pipeline Hits Bayelsa, July 2015
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Militants blow up pipeline, vandals damage NNPC facilities, May 2016
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Again, Militants Bomb Agip Pipeline In Bayelsa, May 2016
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Suspect arrested as militants vandalise another pipeline in Bayelsa, The Nation, May 2016
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ENI, NAOC Sustainability
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Avengers claim responsibility for pipeline explosions in Bayelsa
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Fresh oil spill hits Bayelsa communities, July 2015
[click to view]

Militants warn of "zero" oil output in new attacks, March 2016
[click to view]

Nigeria: Oil spills lead to increased newborn mortality in the Niger Delta, October 2017
[click to view]

Latest report by Amnesty says Shell, Eni negligent on Nigeria oil spills; includes company responses to Amnesty
[click to view]

Nigeria: Communities in Bayelsa state suffering from recurrent Agip oil spills - parliament urges company to clean up spills
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Major Spill/Recovery effort along NAOC's Tebidaba/Ogboinbiri Pipeline at Ikeinghenbiri, Mars 2017
[click to view]

Niger delta oil spills: the real cost of crude - video, The Guardian, October 2013
[click to view]

Other documents

the Niger Delta, Nigeria Photo courtesy,
[click to view]

Picture from the oil spill of the inch Ogboinbiri-Tebidaba pipeline, near the Ikienghenbiri community in 2017 Source:
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Afoke Ohwojeheri & Maria Obaseki
Last update29/03/2019
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