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Flaring up again

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Eco Soundings

John Vidal

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Shell has just announced $21bn profits, but people living in the Niger delta are not impressed. The Anglo-Dutch company has just ignored yet another official deadline to stop gas flaring and continues to flare in unimaginably large quantities from thousands of its wells. Apart from being wasteful and polluting, the practice is believed to cost Nigeria about $2.5bn a year in lost revenue and electricity. So is Shell bothered? Last week, it blamed its lack of action on the Nigerian government for not providing security for its workers, but was reported to have claimed that it was committing $3bn to addressing the problem. Seeing as it promised to stop flaring more than four years ago, and has been ordered to stop by the Nigerian courts, no one is holding their breath.

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