Europe

Geologist: Shell concealing hazards from Nigerian oil spills

  • FILE- In this Thursday, March 24, 2011 file photo, oil flows on the creek water's surface near an illegal oil refinery in Ogoniland, outside Port Harcourt, in Nigeria's Delta region. Royal Dutch Shell's Nigeria subsidiary "fiercely opposed" environmental testing and is concealing data showing thousands of Nigerians are exposed to health hazards from a stalled cleanup of the worst oil spills in the West African nation's history, according to a German geologist contracted by the Dutch-British multinational. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

    FILE- In this Thursday, March 24, 2011 file photo, oil flows on the creek water's surface near an illegal oil refinery in Ogoniland, outside Port Harcourt, in Nigeria's Delta region. Royal Dutch Shell's Nigeria subsidiary "fiercely opposed" environmental testing and is concealing data showing thousands of Nigerians are exposed to health hazards from a stalled cleanup of the worst oil spills in the West African nation's history, according to a German geologist contracted by the Dutch-British multinational. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Sunday June. 20, 2010 file photo, men walk in an oil slick covering a creek near Bodo City in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Royal Dutch Shell's Nigeria subsidiary "fiercely opposed" environmental testing and is concealing data showing thousands of Nigerians are exposed to health hazards from a stalled cleanup of the worst oil spills in the West African nation's history, according to a German geologist contracted by the Dutch-British multinational.(AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

    FILE- In this Sunday June. 20, 2010 file photo, men walk in an oil slick covering a creek near Bodo City in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Royal Dutch Shell's Nigeria subsidiary "fiercely opposed" environmental testing and is concealing data showing thousands of Nigerians are exposed to health hazards from a stalled cleanup of the worst oil spills in the West African nation's history, according to a German geologist contracted by the Dutch-British multinational.(AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)  (The Associated Press)

A German geologist says Royal Dutch Shell's Nigeria subsidiary "fiercely opposed" environmental testing and is concealing data showing thousands of Nigerians are exposed to health hazards from a stalled cleanup of the worst oil spills in the West African nation's history.

Kay Holtzmann says an environmental study found "astonishingly high" pollution levels with soil "literally soaked with hydrocarbons."

Holtzmann recommends urgent medical testing for the people of Bodo in the southern Niger Delta, in a letter seen by The Associated Press.

Shell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The stalled cleanup was part of a settlement in which Shell paid $83.5 million to 15,600 fishermen and farmers for oil spills in 2008 and 2009. Lawyers alleged 500,000 barrels of oil spilled, while Shell said it was 1,640 barrels.