El corrupto juego de trileros de Shell en Nigeria

Royal Dutch/Shell, acosada por sus accionistas y enfrentada a investigaciones en los Estados Unidos, el Reino Unido y los Países Bajos por tergiversar el volumen de sus reservas de petróleo, está intentando hacer recaer la culpa sobre Nigeria.

Documentos confidenciales de la compañía conocidos a finales de marzo indican que Shell no facilitó información decisiva sobre el alcance de la reevaluación de sus reservas nigerianas -con lo que resultaron reducidas a 1.500 millones de barriles (el 60 por ciento de las reservas totales del país)-, porque quería reforzar las bazas de Nigeria en las negociaciones con la OPEP para aumentar la cuota de producción correspondiente al país. Actualmente Nigeria produce dos millones de barriles al día. La OPEP calcula las cuotas de sus países miembros a partir de sus reservas demostradas.

Para afrontar una crisis económica que está empeorando, Nigeria quiere duplicar su producción diaria de petróleo hasta los cuatro millones de barriles diarios, para reflejar los nuevos descubrimientos, que, según declaró la Corporación Nacional del Petróleo de Nigeria (NNPC) en diciembre de 2003, habían aumentado las reservas hasta un total de 34.000 millones de barriles. Los funcionarios alegan también que la gran población de Nigeria en comparación con la de otros miembros de la OPEP y la necesidad urgente de obtener divisas para invertir en infraestructuras y servicios sociales requieren un trato preferente. Shell afirmó no querer poner en peligro dichas negociaciones haciendo público el estado real de las reservas nigerianas.

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