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Nigeria on alert as Shell announces worst oil spill in a decade
Nigerian coastal and fishing communities were on Thursday put on alert after Shell admitted to an oil spill that is likely to be the worst in the area for a decade, according to government officials..
The company said up to 40,000 barrels of crude oil was spilled on Wednesday while it was transferred from a floating oil platform to a tanker 75 miles off the coast of the Niger delta.
All production from the Bonga field, which produces around 200,000 barrels a day, was last night suspended. "Early indications show that less than 40,000 barrels of oil have leaked in total. Spill response procedures have been initiated and emergency control and spill risk procedures are up and running," said Tony Okonedo, a Shell Nigeria spokesman.
Satellite pictures obtained by independent monitors Skytruth suggested that the spill was 70km-long and was spread over 923 square kilometers (356 sq miles).