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THE PRICE OF OIL

Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights Violations in
Nigeria’s Oil Producing Communities


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Human Rights Watch
New York Washington London Brussels


Copyright January 1999 by Human Rights Watch.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
ISBN: 156432-225-4
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 99-60123


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I. SUMMARY
The Role and Responsibilities of the International Oil Companies
The Oil Industry and the Oil Producing Communities
Protest and Repression in the Oil Producing Communities
The Role of Shell in the Ogoni Crisis
Attempts to Import Weapons
Threats to Community Members
Oil Company Failure to Monitor or Protest Abuses
Shell’s Internal Review Since 1995
Conclusion

II. RECOMMENDATIONS
To the Nigerian Government
To the International Oil Companies Operating in Nigeria
To the International Community

III. OIL AND NATURAL GAS IN NIGERIA
Crude Oil
The Structure of Oil Company Agreements with the Nigerian Government
Natural Gas
The Downstream Sector

IV. OIL WEALTH AND THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION
State Creation and Revenue Allocation

V. THE ENVIRONMENT
The Framework of Nigerian Law on Oil and the Environment
The Impact of Oil Operations on the Environment
Oil Spills and Hydrocarbon Pollution
Infrastructure Development
Gas Flaring
Compensation for Land Expropriation
Compensation for Oil Spills
Sabotage
The Niger Delta Environmental Survey

VI. OIL COMPANIES AND THE OIL PRODUCING COMMUNITIES
Minorities in the Oil Producing Regions
Social and Economic Conditions in the Oil Producing Communities Today
Oil Company Relations with the Oil Producing Communities
Employment
Development Projects
The Effect of the Oil Economy on Community Politics
The Warri Crisis

VII. SECURITY
Security Arrangements for Oil Facilities
Special Task Forces

VIII. PROTEST AND REPRESSION IN THE NIGER DELTA
Umuechem
The Ogoni Crisis
Attempts to Duplicate the MOSOP Protests
Targeting of Community Leaders and Environmental Whistle-blowers
Day-to-day Protest and Repression in the Oil Producing Communities
Suppression of Demands for Compensation:
Damages, Development Projects, and Employment
Other Abuses Resulting from Oil Company Security
Litigation

IX. THE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL OIL COMPANIES
Corporate Responsibility in Nigeria
The Role of Shell in the Ogoni Crisis
Attempts to Import Weapons
Threats to Communities
Oil Company Calls for Security Force Assistance
Oil Company Failure to Monitor and Protest Abuses
Shell’s Internal Review Since 1995

X. INTERNATIONAL LAW

XI. THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
The Commonwealth
The United Nations and International Labour Organization
The African Commission
The European Union and its Member States
The United States
Codes of Conduct for Business

XII. CONCLUSION
 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This report was written by Bronwen Manby, researcher in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, based on research in the Niger Delta in July 1997, subsequent correspondence with the major oil companies operating in the region, and information provided by Nigerian human rights and environmental activists. The report was edited by Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa Division; Mike McClintock, deputy program director; and Wilder Tayler, general counsel. Elizabeth Thapliyal, Associate in the Africa Division, prepared the report for production.

Human Rights Watch would like to thank its NGO partners who contributed to the report by assisting our research and providing additional information. In particular, we wish to thank the committed and courageous activists of Environmental Rights Action, without whom the report could not have been written. We would also like to thank all those who agreed to meet with us and be interviewed for the report, especially the many residents of oil producing communities of the Niger Delta.

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