Shell contains Nigerian oil spill

Officials from Royal Dutch Shell announced on Tuesday, December 27, that the spill emanating from an offshore oil rig about 75 miles off the coast of Nigeria has been contained, according to Reuters.

The Associated Press reports that the spill began on December 20 when workers at the rig began loading an oil tanker. A crack was eventually found in the 19-inch diameter offshore pipeline from the oil storage tanks to the boat, but the spill itself was not discovered until after the workers completed loading the tanker.

The spill itself, though small compared to the recent disaster at BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, represents the largest oil spill in Nigeria since 1998. Shell reports that the spill was contained before it had reached 40,000 barrels, less than 1 percent of the size of last year's spill.

"The oil spill has now been dispersed and contained," Precious Okolobo, Shell Nigeria spokesman told Reuters. "We had five ships working to disperse it. It was dispersed over the weekend and that was completed before it hit the shore."

Information on Nigeria's sizable oil industry can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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