Poison gas: How to get rid of unstable gas? Put it on fire

Shell is a British–Dutch oil and gas company, which has its headquarters in the Netherlands. It is one of the six oil and gas „supermajors“. Its main objective is to extract the crude oil and underground gases. Shell has its refineries everywhere across the world, even though they are trying to focus on second world countries, whose export potential is matched by their low economic standards and governments affected by corruption.

What does Shell have to do with Subsaharan Africa?

If Shell wants to continue extracting crude oil and underground gas from the Nigerian natural resources, they’ll have to start restoring the original environment.

The biggest threat for local environment is gas flaring – wasting the unstable gas, that cannot be transported via pipes and tubes to factories, by putting them on fire.

A gas flare, alternatively known as a flare stack, is a gas combustion device used in industrial plants such as petroleum refineries, chemical plants, natural gas processing plants as well as at oil or gas production sites having oil wells, gas wells, offshore oil and gas rigs and landfills.


The second threat, that can cause a serious trouble, are pipes fractures, which way oil is leaking to surrounding areas. Highly concentred oil on the Earth’s surface causes several damages to rivers, lakes, and agriculture.

Not all local communities were satisfied by the Shell reparations and monetary compensation. Some of them haven’t even got any of it. The most dangerous side-effect of Shell’s poorly pushed efforts in this matter is an outrage of local communities not only against the local corrupted government and the Shell corporation but against the West and foreigners in general.

On the other hand, we cannot blame them to think so, when the unstoppable gas flares are over and over changing the temperature of the surrounding regions. Fumes, that are produced by burning gas, are affecting the people’s health.

According to native furious citizens of a village, that stands near one of Shell’s gas flaring compounds, “Shell is intentionally poisoning not only our crops but now even us.”

From my point of view

It is problematic on both sides. I cannot fully agree with the native citizens‘ arguments, because I do think they’re naive and straight-forward with no perception of what is going to come after expulsion of Shell. Shutting down the refineries and pulling Shell out of the extraction process resolves nothing. “Stop the gas flaring”, in this situation as well.


I do think that the documentary, which was taken in 2008, was more focused on ostracization the Shell company then on finding the common ground that can lead to consensually accepted agreement profitable for both sides. For example, what if the local groups propose an agreement, in which will be, that Shell is going to build inside the Nigeria gas processing factories but with Nigerian financial resources.

On the other hand, I simply cannot believe, that Shell is intentionally wasting a material that could be sold (If not in World, in Nigeria then). If the underground gas is not the priority for the Shell leaders, why haven’t Nigerians make it valuable to these investors? Solutions are available, but both sides are so dreadfully strong in their different opinions, that it shouldn’t be solved soon.