America’s Connection to Oil Spills Abroad

Posted on June 10, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Its painful to hear and see constant reminders of the gushing oil in the Gulf of Mexico. This heartbreaking environmental catastrophe is causing many of us to reflect on the true consequences of oil drilling and use. A few news stories have linked this growing awareness of the problems caused by domestic offshore drilling to the international impacts of oil consumption. The environment editor of the Guardian describes his personal experiences in the Niger Delta, which provides 40% of America’s imported crude oil. Here old equipment, frequent oil-related conflicts, and poor management are responsible for more oil spilling annually than in the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
According to an activist from Platform, an organization that monitors African oil, “within a few years in Nigeria offshore spills from four locations dwarfed the scale of the Exxon Valdez disaster many times over. Estimates put spill volumes in the Niger delta among the worst on the planet, but they do not include the crude oil from waste water and gas flares.”
So, even when the Gulf oil spill is contained and things seemingly go back to normal, its important to remember that  American oil consumption affects people and communities in oil rich countries all over the world-even when the media is not around to cover to their plight.


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4 Responses to “America’s Connection to Oil Spills Abroad”

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See also, for more documentation on the Nigeria comparison, “USA/Nigeria: By Way of Comparison,” at

I have been opposed to the oil industries many freedoms for many years. They have not cared about the economy, have lied about oil shortages and reasons for price increases. This incident demonstrates that there has not been any plans for problems and they have seemed not to care about the problems ecologically. I am pleased to see a move toward wind farms along the Atlantic Coast.

Not to minimize the impact of Niger oil spills or the United State’s thirst for the black gold, but the latest stats from the EIA (As of May 27th) suggests Niger provided only 7% of America’s crude oil YTD 2009 and slightly more for YTD 2010 (11%). So where does the 40% come from? Makes for a compelling story and suggests we have a majority stake in the issue, but if the stats are wrong then it needs to be rescinded.

Evan, this number struck me as high as well, but keep in mind that it is 40% of American’s imported crude oil, which obviously does not include domestic production. When this distinction is made, this number makes more sense. Here is the original Guardian article where this number came from.

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