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Shell ignites new gas flare at Gbarantoru, Nigeria


Gbarantoru community is an Ijaw town in Ekpetiama Kingdom of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. It is located on the outskirts of Yenagoa, the State capital. Shell Petroleum Development Company has been operating in the community for many years. The Gbaran/Ubie Gas Gathering Plant is located here.

Shell's commencement of a new gas flare at a time when the routine gas flaring has received global condemnation, and with the full knowledge that gas flaring is an illegal activity in Nigeria, is seen by the locals as an act of impunity and total disregard for their health. Gas flaring is a major contributor of global warming greenhouse gases. The commence this destructive activity a few weeks from the climate negotiations in Copenhagen indicates Shell's disregard for the welfare of humanity and our climate.

Community people sent distress calls to ERA in the early hours of October 30, 2009 when the perceived that air was thick with gas and feared that an explosion may ensure. Their fear was heightened by the fact that the community is situated within the Gbaran/Ubie gas plant still under construction.

Shell, through its spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobo denied the claim, saying: "As part of the Gbaran Ubie Integrated Oil and Gas project new wells are being drilled. Subsequent tests may require controlled temporary flares. This is common practice in the industry. There is no ongoing gas flaring related to the new Gbaran Ubie project facilities [1].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Shell ignites new gas flare at Gbarantoru, Nigeria
State or province:Bayelsa State
Location of conflict:Yenagoa Local Government Area
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Gas flaring
Oil and gas refining
Specific commodities:Crude oil

Project Details and Actors

Project details


Project area:Unknown
Level of Investment:Unknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:Unknown
Start of the conflict:10/2009
Company names or state enterprises:Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actors:NOSDRA
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:ERA/FOEN

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Oil spills, Air pollution
Other Health impactsRespiratory problems, health issues related to air and land pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:No reparation made
Development of alternatives:Gas flaring is an illegal activity. It negates the human rights of Nigerians. It is a wasteful activity.
1. Shell should stop the gas flare at Gbarantoru community. The people's demand that the gas flare be halted should be respected.
2. The Federal and State governments should promptly take steps to save the people and environment of Gabarantoru and environs.
3. The people of Gbarantoru should initiate/ seek appropriate means of defending themselves and their environment.
4. Human/Environmental Rights groups all over the world should rise up in support of the demands of the Gbarantoru people.
5. Shell must not be allowed to poison the Gbarantoru community
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:There are no report yet to determine the continuation of the flare

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislationsĀ - Juridical texts related to the conflict


LinksĀ to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Shell Ignites New Gas Flare at Gbarantoru

[1] All Africa - Nigeria: Group Tackles Shell Over Gas Furnace

Meta information

Contributor:Afoke Ohwojeheri
Last update15/01/2015