On Friday, London-based non-governmental organisation focused on human rights, Amnesty International, accused oil majors, Shell and Eni of "serious negligence".

An ENI spokeswoman had responded that the rights group’s statements “are not correct and, in some cases, not acceptable,” adding it had provided a detailed response to Amnesty’s allegations.

Spokesperson for Shell in Nigeria had declined to respond to the allegation. But it has now provided response.

It said it remains committed to swift response to oil spill incidents as much as access and security conditions permit teams to mobilise and deploy to spill sites to investigate, clean up and remediate such areas.

“This is in addition to deploying technology and best practices to make it more difficult for unauthorised persons to break pipelines and steal crude oil from its facilities,” the firm said in a statement on Sunday.

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The oil major denied allegations of environmental mismanagement in the Niger Delta levelled against it by Amnesty.

“SPDC, in collaboration with government regulators, responds swiftly to spill incidents as quickly as it can, and cleans up spills from its facilities regardless of the cause.

“We regularly test our emergency spill response procedures and capability to ensure that staff and contractors can respond rapidly to an incident.

“However, response to spills, clean-up and remediation depend on access to the spill site and ultimately on the security of personnel and equipment, while work is ongoing,”  SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli said.

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