Royal Dutch Shell on Friday said the company is not responsible for all the oil spills in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria.
Managing Director of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Mutiu Sunmonu said in a statement sent to Xinhua in Lagos that the company took oil spill-related issues seriously.
"Oil spills in the Niger Delta are a tragedy, and The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) takes them very seriously," Sunmonu added.
"That is why we have always accepted responsibility for paying compensation when they occur as a result of operational failure," he said.
According to Sunmonu, the company had always acknowledged that the two spills in Bodo community in Gokana Local Government area of Rivers in 2008, were caused by such operational failure.
The managing director said the incident in Bodo resulted in the spilling of 4,000 barrels of oil in the area. "Even when, as is true in the great majority of cases, spills are caused by illegal activity such as sabotage or theft, we are also committed to cleaning up spilt oil and restoring the surrounding land," he added.
The managing director said the Nigerian government needed concerted efforts to end illegal refining and oil theft in the Niger Delta, noting that they perpetuated poverty.
"This is the major cause of the environmental damage which media reports have so graphically illustrated," he added.