Environmental Control in Oil & Gas Exploration & Production : A Case Study of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, West Africa

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Industriell miljöteknik


The goal of this study is to examine the environmental impacts of oil and gas exploration and production (E&P), the roles of legislation, and the environmental management strategies in the petroleum industry with respect to the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study seeks to suggest sustainable solutions to the endemic economic, social, and environmental problems associated with oil and gas E&P in the region. The focus is on the environmental control in the upstream (E&P) operations of the oil and gas industry as it affects the Niger Delta region of Nigeria with a view to proffering sustainable solutions.

The heavily polluting activities and environmental impacts of the upstream oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta have over the years taken a routine dimension and are endemic as a result of inadequate environmental legislations and ineffective enforcements. Sequel to these environmental impacts is militancy, adoption of expatriates, communal conflicts, inter-ethnic conflicts, human right abuses, restiveness and other social vices as the study reveals. These social and environmental impacts of oil and gas activities in this region bring impoverishment, abject poverty, hunger, squalor, birth disease, gene mutation, and death while exposing inhabitants of the region to afflictions and diseases as the study explicitly documents.

The study also reveals that the persistence rate of unrest, restiveness, militancy and other social vices is as a result of non-dialogue status between the different stakeholders, lack of infrastructural development, lack of basic amenities, high rate of unemployment, poor policy construct, federalized mineral right / resource ownership structure, and the monopolistic nature of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earning in petroleum resources.

In this dissertation, both proactive and corrective measures to curb the menace of the social, economic and environmental impacts of oil and gas exploration & production operations in Nigeria are presented and discussed with suggestions to sustainable solution and development, better environmental legislation, and better resource policy construct while advocating for good industrial practices in the petroleum industry with emphasis on the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

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