Human rights group Amnesty International has criticised oil giants Eni and Shell for allegedly misrepresenting data on crude spills in Nigeria’s Niger Delta and attempting to deny compensation to communities blighted by pollution, but the two oil companies have vociferously defended their roles.

Amnesty argued that the majors are “taking weeks to respond to reports of spills and are actually publishing misleading information about their cause and severity".

"They both claim to be doing everything possible to prevent oil spills, but our research suggests otherwise,” it argued.