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Published on May 23, 2012
On December 20, 2011, in the Bonga oil field (50 miles off the coast of Nigeria), Shell announced that 40,000 barrels of crude oil had leaked into the ocean. This is the worst spill for Nigeria in over a decade. Shell says none of the oil reached the coastline, but there have been numerous reports from at least 13 villages whose coastlines have been impacted by the spill. The oil is harming the abundant wildlife and bird populations along the Nigerian coastline. Fishing has been suspended off the coast by Nigerian officials.
Shell's drilling operations have been spilling oil into the Niger Delta in Nigeria since 1958. The U.N. says it will take 30 years to clean up oil spilled in the region. Environmentalists say as much as 550 million gallons of oil have poured into the Niger Delta River in the past 50 years.