Oil Reserves Of The Niger Delta Environmental Sciences Essay

The Niger Delta, sometimes called the Oil Rivers because of its history of being a large thenar oil manufacturer, covers 20,000 kmA? in wetlands of about 70,000 kmA? of land which makes about 7.5 % of Nigeria ‘s land mass. The Delta is the place of over 20 million people and 40 different cultural groups. Coastal barrier islands, fresh water swamps, Rhizophora mangle woods, and lowland rain forests are the four ecological zones that make up the Delta ‘s environment.

This singular ecosystem contains one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on our planet but could see a loss of around 40 % of its habitable land in the following 30 old ages because of extended dike building. The oil industry has done its portion to this state of affairs over many old ages every bit good by turning a blind oculus. In the late nineteenth century the country was the British Oil Rivers Protectorate. It was expanded and later became the Niger Coast Protectorate.

Map of Nigeria numerically demoing provinces typically considered portion of the Niger Delta part:

1. Abia, 2. Akwa Ibom, 3. Bayelsa, 4. Cross River, 5. Delta, 6. Edo, 7.Imo, 8. Ondo, 9. Rivers [ XXII ]

The South-South Niger Delta, besides known as the South-South Zone, really consists of Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa State, Cross River State ( Abia ) , Delta State, Edo State, Ondo State and Rivers State and is devided into three subdivisions which are

1, Central Niger Delta dwelling of the cardinal subdivision of coastal South-South Nigeria which includes Bayelsa State and Rivers State. The inland portion of Rivers State consists of tropical rain forest ; acquiring to the seashore one finds a batch of Rhizophora mangle woods and swamps. Bayelsa State has a riverine and estuarine scene. A batch of its communities are about wholly surrounded by H2O, which makes it impossible to entree them by route. The province is besides place to the Edumanom Forest Reserve. [ I ]

2, Western Niger Delta besides known as Northern Niger Delta consists of the western subdivision of the coastal South-South Nigeria which includes Delta State, Edo State, and Ondo State. The South and south West of the subdivision has a coastline of about 120 kilometres which is bounded by the Bight of Benin on the Atlantic ocean. The western subdivision boundary lines Rivers State and Bayelsa State. The citizen at that place make their life manily by angling and farming.

3, Eastern Niger Delta dwelling of the Eastern/Atlantic subdivision of the coastal South-South Nigeria includes Akwa Ibom and Cross River States ( Abia ) . In 1987 the Cross River States were created from the former Cross River State. This province is the biggest oil and gas manufacturer in Nigeria. Abia has big rough oil sedimentations and besides a batch of arable land where amongst other harvests, yam, murphies, Anacardium occidentales and plantains are grown.

In Africa the state of Nigeria has become the biggest manufacturer of crude oil, including many oil Wellss in the Oil Rivers. In the Niger Delta around two million barrels of oil are produced daily. Because the Delta is such an oil rich part it has been the Centre of international contention over annihilating pollution and human rights misdemeanors.

For over 30 old ages the part has accounted for approximately 75 % of Nigeria ‘s export net incomes. Due to the huge oil production, oil spills are unluckily a common event in Nigeria [ II ] .

They happen because of a figure of grounds. About 50 % of the oil spills happen because of corrosion of grapevines and armored combat vehicles, 28 % are due to undermine, 21 % because of oil production operations, unequal equipment causes about 1 % of the spills.

The biggest job is the corrosion of pipes and armored combat vehicles. They are described as “ really old and lack regular review and care ” . [ III ] Most of the pipe- and flow lines ( flow lines are pipes with a little diameter which carry the oil from good caputs to flux Stationss ) on mainland are above land. Because many of those lines are older than 20 old ages they are in the procedure of corrosion, officially they have a life span of 15 old ages. [ IV ]

Another job why corrosion is the # 1-reason of all oil spills is that the oil Fieldss in the Niger Delta are little. But they have immense webs of pipe- and flow lines between the oil Fieldss leting many chances for leaks. SPDC ( Shell Petroleum and Development Company ) says that “ most of the installations were constructed between the 1960s and early 1980s to the so prevailing criterions. Shell would non construct them that manner today. ” [ V ]

A large issue in the Delta provinces is sabotage and larceny by oil syphoning which adds to even more environmental devolution. [ VI ] Sometimes damaged pipe lines are non noticed for yearss. When they are found it takes a long clip to mend them.

Oil siphoning has turned into a existent large concern. The stolen oil makes its manner onto the black market really rapidly. [ IV ] In late December 2006 more than 200 people were killed in a part of Lagos, Nigeria in an oil line detonation due to undermine. [ VII ] Unfortunately the deceases toll in the Delta is high and still turning because it is really popular to sell the stolen oil to do money.

Gas flaring is a really popular manner to divide gas from oil in the Niger Delta country of Nigeria. Since it is really expensive to divide gas from oil it is instead burned or flared to cut down costs. Some companies use natural gas commercially but prefer to utilize not associated gas which can be found already isolated.

The method of gas flaring in Nigeria was introduced by Shell-BP in the 60 ‘s and Nigeria now burns more natural gas than any other state. About 75 % of associated gas which is produced yearly is burned and hence wasted. This was reported by the World Bank in 2004. [ VIII ] It equals about 25 % of the UK ‘s entire natural gas ingestion and peers 40 % of the whole African continent ‘s gas ingestion in 2001. Shell and OPEC who are the biggest flarer in Nigeria say that they merely burn 50 % of the sum associated gas. But this statement can earnestly be doubted.

An incredible 99 % of extra gas was burnt in 2003 in the Delta. [ VIII ] Almost all of the natural gas that is taken from oil Wellss in the Niger Delta is instantly released into the air by flame uping and is therefore the biggest beginning of nursery gas emanation on our planet. The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd. is the largest gas flame uping company in Nigeria and its bulk is owned by the Nigerian authorities. Flaring gas has been offically illegal in Nigeria for 25 old ages but cipher truly cares. Although everybody, from the oil companies, to Nigerian authorities and the international community, agrees that flame uping gas has to be limited strongly.

Gas flaring releases toxic constituents into the air an contributes immensley to climate alteration. Alternatively of firing the gas it could be reinjected or, which is an even better method, used as an energy beginning. If decently stored it could easy be used for many community undertakings in Nigeria.

When gas is burned it releases a big sum of Methane, Benzene and Carbon Dioxide which are large nursery gases, have a high planetary warming possible and contribute extremly to climate alteration. Gas flaring has been minimized in the West. In Europe about 100 % of assosiated gas is either used or reinjected into the land. But in Nigeria gas flaring has grown a batch with oil production. [ IX ]

Gas flaring has besides many harmful effects on the people who live near to the gas flairs and threaden their being. Many occupants of these countries complain about unwellnesss like respatory jobs and tegument diseases. [ II ] These chemicals can do respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronical bronchitis. Benzene is released in unknown measures into the air and is known to do malignant neoplastic disease and other blood related diseases like leukaemia. Harmonizing to a survey that has been done by Climate Justice, yearly about 8 new instances of malignant neoplastic disease are due to the exposure to Benzene. [ IX ]

Residents who are populating and working near gas flairs are unluckily non protected good from the flairs. Very frequently the gas flairs are in close propinquity to towns and small towns and do non hold adequate fence. Many of these communities besides complain about acid rain which is allegedly caused by gas flairs located nearby.

Independent surveies can non decidedly turn out that acid rain is caused by gas flairs. Other surveies done by the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that gas flaring is “ a major subscriber to air pollution and acid rain ” . [ X ] Most of the older gas flairs are located near to towns and small towns and are non about to be moved further off to protect the occupants and the landscape in their country. It is common cognition that the flora environing the gas flares is damaged by coom which is released by flame uping. Due to the heat of the gas flares nil is able to turn at that place. [ IV ] The Federal High Court of Nigeria ordered in a tribunal determination in 2005 that every homo being has the right to populate in self-respect and hence gas flaring has to halt instantly.

Another large issue refering the environment in the Niger Delta of Nigeria is the harm and loss of Rhizophora mangle and rain woods. The Niger River Delta offers a broad varity of flora such as Rhizophora mangle and rain woods and salt fens. Mangrove forests cover up to about 9,000 kmA? of the delta. [ XI ] When oil is released into the ecosystem it causes huge harm. Especially mangroves which are really sensitive to oil, because of the oil ‘s syrupy nature and speedy incursion, have been destroyed. In Nigeria approx. 5 – 10 % of Rhizophora mangle woods and about 10 % of rain woods have been destroyed chiefly by oil spills but besides from human impact by colony. [ IV ]

To the local people in the Niger Delta country of Nigeria and besides to many beings populating in this ecosystem, the Rhizophora mangle and rain woods are of great importance. Due to the force of the tides the oil which spills into the river and the drainage basin, moves into the flora and kills the flora in big countries.

Mangrove and rain woods are portion of a really complex tropical system. If an ecosystem is affected by any sort of pollution it can indirectly harm any other being in this system. It is scientifically proved that oil spills damage the dirt of Rhizophora mangle and rain woods and strip the whole system of of import constituents like clean H2O, substrates and foods. [ XII ]

When an country of Rhizophora mangles has been contaminated through an oil spill it is prone to a varity of jobs. Very frequently native workss die and can non turn once more in the contaminated countries. It takes some clip until micro beings and bacteriums can mend the dirt and growing can get down afresh. There is a certain species of thenar that does non necessitate the optimum conditions to turn such as Rhizophora mangles do. This works rapidly infests the affected countries because it has a root system which does non hold to turn deep into the dirt but can last on the surface, destabilising the Bankss along the waterways. [ XIII ] The loss of mangrove woods does non merely hold major impact on vegetations and zoologies it besides affects people populating at that place.

The Rhizophora mangles are an of import home ground for rare species. There are national and foreign groups that got together and seek to reconstruct and reconstruct the damaged and destroyed woods by supplying labor and financess. In 2000 the Niger Delta Development Commission, in short NDDC, was brought into being by the authorities of Nigeria, with the aim to cut down and if possible wholly terminate all impacts the oil has on the environment.

The sloppiness of oil operations in the Niger Delta makes it progressively impossible to populate at that place. Oil spills spread over a large country and the taint destroyes agribusiness in populated countries. Not rarely a whole twelvemonth ‘s crop is destroyed. The taint besides affects the aquaculture and makes it impossible for fishermen to do a nice life in the Delta because the fish population is melting drastically.

For Nigeria ‘s hereafter the fishing industry poses a really of import portion. But due to turning demand of fish and hence overfishing, the fish population is diminishing and does non hold the opportunity to animate itself to an optimale degree any longer. For the fish population to be able to animate, fishing has to be limited strongly along the Niger River of Nigeria. Fish farms besides should be build to supply for the higher demand of fish and besides to make occupations for the local people.

The loss of home ground, clime alteration due to pollution and overfishing have a major impact on of import ecosystems. Particularly nowadays it is really of import and necessary to keep and conserve marine environments.

Shore lines along rivers are really of import to the ecosystem. Thus the Niger River is a really of import ecosystem in the Delta and needs to be protected. It offers ideal topographic points for people to settle and is place to about 250 species of fish. [ XIV ] Bushes, trees and brush-wood provide an ideal biotope and equilibrate the H2O ‘s temperature so flora and zoologies are able to boom in the country. Because of hapless land direction, incorrect and extended colony along shore lines and seashores, home grounds and ecosystems have changed dramatically and even have been lost. [ XV ]

Everything has to be done to forestall planetary heating and therefore the H2O temperature of the Niger River to lift which would intend even more loss of home ground and devastation to the environment. It is of import to conserve marine environments in the Delta.

But non merely pollution from oil is a job in the country. Poisonous insect powders are being used to maintain harvests on acricultural land clear of insect infestation. But since many of these Fieldss are located near to waterways these insect powders besides contribute to the pollution. If husbandmans would alter there wonts and alteration to natural insect powders or would travel the Fieldss further inland the taint could be reduced.

Mr. Nnimmo Bassey, the executive manager of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of Earth Nigeria ( ERA/FoEN ) , delivered a address to environment journalists at a preparation cantonment in Abuja, Nigeria, stating that little fishing companies and fishermen likewise have been displaced due to oil spillages and taint in Nigeria and have to travel to territorial Waterss in Cameroon and Guinea to happen safe and clean Waterss to go to to their fishing concern.

Mr. Nnimmo Bassey besides said that oil spills have polluted the rivers in the Niger Delta and have destroyed aquatic live in the part.

“ This has forced fishermen to relocate to H2O organic structures outside Nigeria

but the job is that these people are systematically being harassed,

arrested and extorted by seashore guards of Cameroon and Guinea Bissau.

Some times they pay every bit high as N100, 000 ( US $ 680.00 ) equivalents

to procure their release from the force work forces of the affected states, ” [ XVI ]

If oil spills and the ensuing pollution were lowered, the impact on home ground and environment would be reduced. Therefore productiveness and biodiversity of the marine ecosystem could increase

Harmonizing to figures provided by the Nigerian authorities, more than 7,000 oil spills were counted between the old ages 1970 and 2000 which have affected the communities and the environment in the Niger Delta extremly. The people in the Niger Delta are enduring from serious harm to the environment and their life criterions have non improved much. [ XVI ]

Conflicts in the Niger Delta have been the consequences of environmental devastation and the disablement to portion the wealth made with oil production in the Delta. Since the guidelines and

regulations of the Nigerian authorities to modulate the oil industry are about none bing it is left to the oil industry to modulate itself. [ II ] Environmental motions, inter-ethnic struggles

and guerilla activities, which are carried out by The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta ( MEND ) , are common ways to contend the constitution.

In 1998 military personnels were sent by the Nigerian authorities to busy Bayelsa province and Delta province after Ijaw people expressed concerns in the Kaiama Declaration that Nigeria loses control of national resources to oil companies. Three protestors were killed and about 25 arrested when soldiers of the Nigerian ground forces attacked them utilizing weaponries and tear gas.

Since so Nigerian people often fight against refineries and pipe lines in that country. Foreign employees of oil companies such as Shell are being kidnapped and taken surety for hebdomads merely to be released if a ransom is paid. Those activities result in force and mobilise the State Security Service and the ground forces.

Not merely snatch is used in the battle against commercial oil companies and the perversive Nigerian authorities. Although the battle is tough little stairss are being made in the right way.

April, 2006: stopping point to an oil refinery in the Niger Delta part a bomb exploded as a warning against Chinese enlargement. The Motion for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta ( MEND ) declared: “ We want to warn the Chinese authorities and its oil companies to maintain out of the Niger Delta. If the Chinese authorities invests in rough oil in the country it will set its citizens in our line of fire. ” [ XVIII ]

August 2008: a immense military foray was carried out on activists. Water organic structures were patrolled, all civilian boats were searched and many activist hideawaies were raided for arms. [ XIX ]

September 2008: a statement was released by The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta ( MEND ) stating that they will get down an “ oil war ” throughout the whole Niger Delta against oil production installations and the Nigerian ground forces that protects them. Both MEND and the Nigerian Government claim to hold caused heavy casualties to one another. [ XX ]

June 2009: the Nigerian authorities announced to allow amnesty to the activists in the Niger Delta. This amnesty would get down August 6, 2009 and stop October 4, 2009. After confer withing with the National Council of State the former president of Nigeria Umaru Musa Yar’Adua signed the paper.

August 2009: amnesty was granted to all activists who handed over their arms to the authorities. In exchange they were put in rehabilitation programms, received a presidential forgiveness and most of import, instruction.

A undertaking to develop the hapless was introduced by Uz and Uz Transnational, a company that has a strong committedness to the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta Development Commission ( NDDC ) a authorities enterprise and the Development Initiative ( DEVIN ) a non governmental organisation, are merely two of governmental and private enterprises which have been introduced to develop the Niger Delta country.

The Delta is, even by the low criterions for quality of life in Nigeria, extremely developing and hapless. The NDDC speaks out for the people of minority cultural groups in the country and

wants the development of societal and physical substructure, a stable human development and an economic resurgence and prosperity. It is besides demanding more autonomy and control of the oil resources in the Delta.

“ We witnessed the slow toxic condition of the Waterss of this state and the

devastation of flora and agricultural land by oil spills which occur

during crude oil operations. But since the origin of the oil industry

in Nigeria, more than twenty-five old ages ago, there has been no concerned

and effectual attempt on the portion of the authorities, allow entirely the oil operators,

to command environmental jobs associated with the industry ” . [ XXI ]

[ I ] “ HYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADN536.pdf ” NIGERIA BIODIVERSITY AND TROPICAL FORESTRY ASSESSMENTHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: //pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADN536.pdf ” ” . USAID. June 2008. p. 76. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADN536.pdf. Retrieved 2010-09-18 & gt ; .

[ II ] Baird J ( July 26, 2010 ) . “ Oil ‘s Shame in Africa ” . Newsweek: 27.

[ III ] Dr. P.C. Nwilo & A ; O. T. Badejo: Impacts of Oil spills along the Nigerian seashore The Association for Environmental Health and Sciences, 2001

[ IV ] Bronwen Manby: The Price of Oil Human Rights Watch. 1999. Retrieved November 9, 2007

[ V ] Shell International Petroleum Company, Developments in Nigeria ( London: March 1995 )

[ VI ] Anderson, I: Niger River basin: A Vision for Sustainable Development Pp. 1-131 The World Bank, 2005

[ VII ] Pipeline detonation putting to deaths at least 200 CNN, 2006. Retrieved May 29, 2007

[ VIII ] “ Nigeria ‘s First National Communication Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. ” UNFCC. Nov. 2003. 24 Jan. 2009 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/niganc1.pdf & gt ; .

[ IX ] Gas flaring in Nigeria: A human rights, environmental and economic freak. Friends of the Earth Nigeria

[ X ] Asbestos: wellness effects Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2007.

[ XI ] Nwilo, Peter C. , and Olusegun T. Badejo: Impacts And Management of Oil Spill Pollution Along the Nigerian Coastal Areas International Federation of Surveyors, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.

[ XII ] Dr. Janice Limson: Autochthonal Plants to the Rescue Environmental redress in Nigerian oil parts Science in Africa, 2002. Retrieved May 21, 2007.

[ XIII ] Nipa Palm Utilization Project [ dead nexus ] Nigerian Conservation Foundation, 1996. Retrieved May 21, 2007.

[ XIV ] World Wildlife Fund. 2006. Fishing on the Niger River. Retrieved May 10, 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.panda.org/news_facts/multimedia/video/index.cfm? uNewsID=61121

[ XV ] Molles Jr, M.C. : Ecology Concepts and Applications 3rd Edition, Pg. 93-94. McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, 2005.

[ XVI ] hypertext transfer protocol: //biodiversitymedia.ning.com/profiles/blogs/oil-pollution-displaces

[ XVII ] CRS Report for Congress, Nigeria: Current Issues Updated January 30, 2008

[ XVIII ] “ Nigeria ‘s First National Communication Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. ” UNFCC. Nov. 2003. 24 Jan. 2009 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/niganc1.pdf & gt ; .

[ XX ] .Military operations in the Niger Delta – 16 Aug 08

[ XX ] Environmental Rights Action

[ XXI ] Quoted in Greenpeace Internationals ‘ Shell Shocked, 11

[ XXII ] hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_Delta