Oil fields are abundant in the Niger Delta and provide the Nigerian government with much of its revenue. Environmental damage caused by oil production activities including exploration, drilling, production, transportation, and refining threatens biodiversity of the Niger Delta and the livelihoods of its inhabitants. Many of the people in the Niger Delta depend on the abundant natural resources of the delta for fishing, herbal medicines, food, fiber, and other uses.
This report examines the methods used to place a value on environmental damage and the legal frameworks that United States, Nigeria, Kenya, and international law provide to compensate for injuries to natural resources caused by oil pollution. Placing an appropriate value on the environmental damage is important to ensure that oil companies take necessary precautions to avoid and abate damage caused by oil pollution, while providing compensation to the people that use and rely upon the damaged natural resources.