One day before a United Nations investigation found that a region of Nigeria's Niger River Delta is badly damaged from oil contamination, Royal Dutch Shell admitted responsibility for two pipeline breaks that released 280,000 barrels of oil into the delta in 2008. On Wednesday, Shell reversed course after cliaming for three years that the spill was a work of sabatoge. The report recommends establishing a $1 billion trust fund for a cleanup that could take 30 years.The pipeline is owned by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, which helped fund the U.N. investigation. Though oil contamination has been widespread in the Niger delta for decades, the 2008 spills were were particularly bad. “Nowhere and no one has escaped,” Chief Tella James told The Guardian. More oil is spilled in the Niger delta each year than escaped from BP’s Deepwater Horizon well in 2010.
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