OKOLIE-OSEMENE James (2015) Oil companies and lethal violence in Nigeria: Patterns, mapping and evolution (2006 – 2014)
This study explores different aspects of fatal conflicts that involve oil companies such as Chevron Texaco, Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI), ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, indigenous companies, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Using both qualitative and quantitative data from the Nigeria Watch Project, the research enhances our understanding of the patterns and evolution of oil companies and lethal violence in the country between 2006 and 2014.
It was found that 2009 was the most turbulent year, because of various confrontations with militant groups such as MEND. But the differences in fatalities between the upstream sector (exploration and production) and downstream sector (marketing and distribution) are conspicuous. The Nigeria Watch database reveals that the footprint of oil companies is a major factor in the intensity of their involvement in lethal violence. Thus, oil companies that combine both upstream and downstream activities have recorded more deaths nationwide than those that participate in production only. Also, those that have more offshore operations than onshore activities have a lower incidence of violence resulting in fatalities. Shell remains the foremost company in the upstream petroleum sector, and insecurity explains why it is now considering divesting onshore.