The impact of gas flaring on Ebocha-Egbema environment in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria was investigated. Mbutu Mbaise which has no oil-drilling or gas flaring site, was selected as the control environment. Concentrations of air quality indices: carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), methane (CH4) and particulates were determined. Air quality measurements in Ebocha were made, at least, 500 meters from the flaring site. Values of important indices of soil physico-chemical parameters: pH, nitrate (NO3), sulphate (SO4) and percentage carbon were determined for the two environments. Water samples from the two environments were analysed for their physico-chemical parameters. Results obtained revealedthat the mean values for air quality indices, soil and water physico-chemical parameters for Ebocha were substantially higher than those for Mbutu Mbaise except pH values obtained for soil and water, indicating that gas flaring exerts adverse ecological effect on the air, soil and water environments in Ebocha.
Mapping of land cover and estimation of their emissivity values for gas flaring sites in the Niger Delta (Published)
This study examines the changes in land cover (LC) types at 6 gas flaring sites in Rivers State, Niger Delta region of Nigeria; and to estimate their emissivity (Ɛ) values. 15 Landsat scenes (3 Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and 12 Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+)) from 17 January 1986 to 08 March 2013 with < 30 % cloud contamination were used. All the sites are located within a single Landsat scene (Path 188, Row 057). Radiometric calibration of the multispectral bands of the data, and atmospheric correction for multispectral bands using dark object subtraction (DOS) method was carried out. The first unsupervised cluster analysis of the atmospherically corrected reflectance (bands 1-4) using the K-mean function of the MATLAB tool was carried out. The results obtained give 3 classes of LC type and cloud as the 4th class. The second cluster analysis was performed with the cloud-masked reflectance (bands 1-4) to give vegetation, soil, built up area and water LC types for all flaring sites. This was confirmed through the fieldwork observation for ground validation of Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+ in the Niger Delta that LC types obtained from satellite data are the same with those observed during the fieldwork. The method used to estimate Ɛ value for LC types at these sites is based on the Ɛ of 4 LC types present at each site. The changes in LC differ throughout the period for the 6 sites due to different human activities within each site. The Ɛ values estimated for the 4 LC types for the sites are not stable but changing from 1986 to 2013 due to changes in LC types. The results of LC classification show that K-mean method can distinguish up to 4 LC types very well in the Niger Delta.
Gas Flaring In Nigeria: Problems and Prospects (Published)
The issue of gas flaring in Nigeria has become a topical one in view of the devastating effect gas flaring has in the socio-economic lives of the people in the affected areas. Historically, it is said that gas flaring is as old as oil production in Nigeria. Oil exploratory activities of oil companies in Nigeria have caused gas flaring resulting in loss of lives and properties in the affected communities where gas is flared. There is no specific legal framework that prohibits gas flaring in Nigeria inspite of the environmental problems associated with it. The existing law that appears to regulate gas flaring in Nigeria is not effective as it does not completely prohibit gas flaring but only provide monetary penalties for continued flaring of gas by oil companies in Nigeria. The Judiciary therefore appeared to have championed the cause for the abolition of gas flaring in Nigeria. This paper examines the legal framework for gas flaring in Nigeria and further identifies the problems and prospects associated with the flaring of gas in Nigeria and makes useful recommendations
Evaluation of Some Oil Companies in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: An Environmental Impact Approach (Published)
The Niger Delta region of Nigeria has no doubt played a major role to Nigeria’s growth and acted as the backbone of the Nigerian economy, hence the export of oil and gas resources by the petroleum sector has substantially improved the Nation’s economy over the past five decades. Activities associated with petroleum exploration, development and production operations have local detrimental and significant impacts on the atmosphere, soils and sediments, surface and groundwater, marine environment and terrestrial ecosystems in the Niger delta. The Niger Delta consists of diverse ecosystems of mangrove swamps, fresh water swamps, rainforest and is the largest wetland in Africa and among the ten most important wetland and marine ecosystems in the world, but due to oil pollution caused by exploration, the area is now characterized by contaminated streams and rivers, forest destruction and biodiversity loss, in general the area is ecological wasteland. This affects the livelihood of the indigenous people who depend on the ecosystem services for survival leading to increased poverty and displacement of people. Discharges of petroleum hydrocarbon and petroleum – derived waste streams have caused environmental pollution, adverse human health effects, socioeconomic problems and degradation of host communities in the oil producing states in the Niger Delta region. However, the oil industry located within the region has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country, which is a fact that cannot be disputed but unsustainable oil exploration activities has rendered the Niger Delta region one of the five most severely petroleum damaged ecosystems in the world.