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Assessment of ecosystem liabilities for oil and gas activities in southern Nigeria

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  • Save Public Health Research 2017, 7(1): 3-26 DOI: 10.5923/j.phr.20170701.02 Assessing Ecosystem Liabilities of Oil and Gas Activities in Southern Nigeria E. C. Merem1,*, Y. Twumasi1, J. Wesley1, P. Isokpehi1, M. Shenge1, S. Fageir1, M. Crisler1, C. Romorno1, A. Hines2, G. Hirse2, S. Ochai3, S. Leggett3, E. Nwagboso4 1Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, USA 2Department of Public Policy and administration, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, USA 3Department of Health Policy and Management, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, USA 4Department of Political Science, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, USA Abstract Since the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta region, the sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s economy came at a huge environmental cost involving recurrent spills resulting in the spewing of oil into sensitive ecosystems. In the process, gas flaring from the industry has accelerated at an alarming rate and degrading the fragile mangrove ecosystem. The problems are characterized by widespread pollution of water resources and threats to the surrounding ecology in the form of deforestation, loss of habitats, and damage to biodiversity. Yet very little has been done to fully assess the impacts on the Delta region. In that light, this research uses mix-scale methods of GIS and descriptive statistics to assess the environmental liabilities of petroleum activities in Southern Nigeria from 1963-2013. Emphasis is on the issues, ecological analysis of the impacts, factors and spatial analysis. While the results point to changes in production and ecosystem degradation prompted by the concentration of greenhouse gases, rise in CO2 emissions, widespread incidents of gas flaring and oil spills. GIS mappings show a gradual dispersion of various liabilities such as fire outbreaks at facilities all through 2002-2003 along with visible presence of gas flaring in the 2000s followed by a robust spread of oil spills across various states in the Delta between the periods of the 1980s-1990s and a reemergence in the 2000s. The spatial cluster of supply infrastructure stayed intact while oil shipments to different zones in Nigeria fluctuated in the South with slight increases in the North from 2007-2013. With the ecological liabilities linked to socio-economic factors of ineffective guidelines, local demands and oil exports, the paper proffered suggestions ranging from the strengthening of policy to continued impact assessment. Keywords Niger Delta Region, Southern Nigeria, Liabilities, Degradation, Oil and Gas, GIS, Assessment 1. Introduction With its endowed deposits largely concentrated in the Deep South, the oil and gas sector in the Niger Delta region has for years dominated Nigeria’s economy with little consideration for environmental liabilities. In 2004 when the sector accounted for 80% of all government revenues, 90-95% of export proceeds and over 90% of foreign exchange earnings all came from the oil industry [1, 2]. Being Africa’s leading producer, the country at the global level ranks in the top 10 among oil producers [1], with most of the output in the Niger Delta region delineated by the boundaries of nine states made up of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers. Notwithstanding, the glowing profile being painted, ecological liabilities such as oil spills have had a major * Corresponding author: (E. C. Merem) Published online at Copyright © 2017 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved effect on the ecosystem of the region whenever released and thus constitutes serious health hazards [3]. In a highly diverse ecosystem with largest deposits of oil and natural gas in Africa, the region’s four eco-zones (coastal inland, freshwater, mangrove swamps and low land forest zone) are epicenters of widespread degradation by hazards posed by over 7,000-3,000 km2 pipelines and production activities in which 9-13 million barrels of oil were spilled in a spate of 50 years [4, 5]. In the process, enormous strips of mangrove forest, which are explicitly prone to oil spill, have not only been destroyed, but human impacts from poor land management upstream coupled with pollution by petroleum activities have accelerated the disappearance of 5 to 10% of the mangroves in the area. The gravity of these liabilities is further characterized by the wanton destruction of large tracts of green cover in areas associated with oil and gas activities. This involves fast moving spills and debris in built up zones spread over large areas ravaging crops and aquaculture through the pollution of ground water resources and soils. Under those circumstances, agricultural output is gravelly impacted in most farm communities [6, 7]. 4 E. C. Merem et al.: Assessing Ecosystem Liabilities of Oil and Gas Activities in Southern Nigeria Considering the reckless approach to oil and gas activities in the Delta during production, the environment is becoming degraded. Individuals in affected communities who lament about health problems such as respiratory and dermatological disorders seem to have lost their fundamental rights of access to nutrition, healthiness, fresh water, and capacity to gainful employment. With the benefits of oil and gas, and the effects of proposed infrastructural development in the sector is having on the ecology of the producing states of the Niger Delta. Nigeria remains one of the major sources of global gas flare rates representing 76% of its natural gas. Against that background, it is not then surprising that about 2.5 billion cubic feet to 17.2 m3 of flared natural gas valued at 2.5 billion dollars occur yearly in the region. This is associated with the emission of greenhouses and the atmospheric concentration of toxic gases therein [8, 9]. In all these, gas flaring continues to wreak havoc by warming up the ecosystem of the Niger Delta [10]. The same can be said of pollution of water resources and the threats to the surrounding ecology in the form of deforestation, loss of habitats, and biodiversity decline, the symptoms of respiratory disorder and the violation citizens right by the concentration of toxic cocktail from flares in the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria. With the emergent liabilities linked to socio-economic elements from global export of oil to local demands, policy lapses and over dependence on oil revenues. Recurrent oil spills, gas flaring, pollution, CO2 emissions and acid rain threaten the head waters of an already fragile environment in the Delta. These impacts not only raise the risk levels of the surrounding ecology of the Delta, but the temperature is heating up with 48 billion kw of heat discharged into the air daily at the expense of the livelihood and health of local communities. In the context of the foregoing, there exists a growing body of work on liabilities such as gas flaring in the study area and these include Raimi [11] Ismail [12], Oseji [13], Ubani [14] and others. From these studies, [12] saw gas flaring as a local and global concern and one of the most challenging energy and environmental problems. Elsewhere [11] links the endemic nature of gas flaring in Nigeria to the nation’s regulatory agency lack of political will to stop the recklessness of the oil sector. Just as [13] outlines the effects of gas flaring under the rubric of increased temperature and acid rain within Umuntu Ebedie gas plant in Delta State, [15] assesses the evolution of oil exploration and the hazards along the coastal region of Ondo state. Along these themes covered in the studies came several remedies ranging from national gas flaring policy [11], the involvement of regulatory agencies in policy implementation, oil spill contingency plan and surveillance mechanism [15]. While similar studies can be gleaned from [16], and [17], the use of Geographic Information Systems(GIS) in pinpointing emerging ecological liabilities from oil and gas impacts in the Niger Delta seems sketchy. However, studies highlighting GIS applications in the management of petroleum and other resources in the Niger Delta and elsewhere can be found in the work of Merem under various years [18-21]. Given the gaps and the abundance of oil and gas in the Niger Delta Region of the country, assessing the impacts of liabilities using GIS provides valuable opportunity to monitor the trend regionally for policy makers and the industry. The belief is that effective decision making in the face of mounting liabilities in the oil sector requires adequate use of spatial tools such as GIS in pinpointing dispersion and scale of ecosystem risks such as oil spills, gas flaring, fire outbreaks at oil facilities and greenhouse gas emission sources. In so doing, environmental management can benefit from it in monitoring the ecological threats faced by communities in impacted areas in the Niger Delta. Accordingly, this paper assesses the growing ecological liabilities of oil and gas activities in the Niger Delta using a mix-scale method of GIS and descriptive statistics. Emphasis is on the issues, analysis of the trends (production, flaring, emissions and impacts) spatial analysis and the factors. The paper has five objectives. The first aim focuses on the use of GIS technology to assess ecological impacts of oil activities, while the second objective is to design a decision support device for policy makers. The third aim emphasizes the development of an index for petroleum resources. The fourth objective is to devise a framework for coastal planning. The fifth objective is to analyze oil and gas use. The paper has five parts. The first section presents the introduction while part two covers materials and methods. Part three highlights the factors and results with GIS mapping. While the fourth section contains the discussion, part five provides the conclusion and findings of the research. For more on the links between the research objectives and the results, please see Appendix 1. 2. Methods and Materials The study area (Figure 1) stretches through 112,110 Km2 across 9 states in Southern Nigeria's Niger Delta region. With a combined population of 39 million and 25% of the nation’s overall total in 2015, the region had a steady growing population of approximately 30 million people as of 2005, accounting for more than 23% of the Nigeria’s total population in that period [2]. Accordingly, the region boosts of a tapestry of forests, farm lands, rivers, creeks, estuaries and stagnant swamps spanning over 8,900 Km2. Being in a tropical rain forest ecosystem comprising of diverse species of flora and fauna with both aquatic and terrestrial species, the Niger delta region can be classified into four ecological zones; coastal inland zone, freshwater zone, lowland forest zone, and mangrove swamp zone considered as one of the ten most important wetlands and marine ecosystems in the world. Notwithstanding such diverse ecological attributes, these natural areas are now being threatened by spills from oil and gas activities [22]. In the middle of the 2015 fiscal year, the volume of flared gas in the region often toxic to the fragile environment stood at 315,093,455,000 MSCF cubic feet with gas value of 787,730,955 MSCF. The estimated Public Health Research 2017, 7(1): 3-26 5 volume of flared gas in mid-2015 in the region is not only large enough to generate the equivalence of 27,223,9871 megawatts in electricity power, but it represents about 16,613,104,9400 metric tons in CO2 emissions with threats to the surrounding ecosystem [23, 24], (Table 1). In Nigeria where 3,000 km2 petroleum pipeline traverses the entire country’s geo-political zones ranging from the subsea swamp, rain forest, to diverse climates and soil conditions with varying consequences. The installed network of oil and gas pipeline facilitating the daily distribution of crude oil products to other parts of the country come at both human and ecological costs to the local people in the Niger Delta. These pipelines not only run across the rainforests and mangroves with incidences of leakages. The seeping of petroleum products during the distribution process has damaging implications for communities and the fragile Delta ecosystem where ecological liabilities from oil and gas activities remain a recurrent problem. With vast deposits of oil in the Niger Delta region [25, 26], pipeline construction and the right of way for exploration has for decades obliterated the surrounding ecology of the area. Much of the reported cases of spillages have occurred in the fragile mangrove swamp forest, which is one of the most reproductive ecosystem rich in fauna and flora with mounting impacts [27-30]. Table 1. Gas Flaring Impacts in the Niger Delta, Mid 2015 Volume Fines Gas Value Power Generation Equivalence CO2 Emissions 315,093,455,00 MSCF $1,102,823,410 787,730,955 MSCF 27,223,9871 MW 16,613,104,9400 MT Figure 1. Study Area Niger Delta 6 E. C. Merem et al.: Assessing Ecosystem Liabilities of Oil and Gas Activities in Southern Nigeria 2.1. Methods Used The paper uses a mix-scale approach involving descriptive statistics and secondary data connected to GIS to analyze the impacts of oil and gas activities in the Niger Delta area of Southern Nigeria. The spatial information for the research was obtained from the United States Geological Surveys (USGS), The Oak Ridge National Energy Laboratory, The US Department of Energy, The Energy Information Administration (EIA), Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and an Environmental NGO, Environmental Rights Action (ERA). All in all, the oil and gas data for the Niger Delta and fire data and others came from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and Environmental Rights Action for the periods of 1976 to 2013. On the one hand, The Oak Ridge National Energy Laboratory and the Environmental Rights Action group offered the emission data. On the other, The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) produced the gas flaring information along with the time series economic data. While the federal geographic identifier codes of the states were used to geo-code the info contained in the data sets. This information was processed and analyzed with basic descriptive statistics, and GIS with attention to the temporal-spatial trends at the state and regional levels in Nigeria. The relevant procedures consist of two stages listed below. 2.3. Stage 2: Step 2: Data Analysis and GIS Mapping In the second stage, descriptive statistics and spatial analysis were employed to transform the original socio-economic and energy data into relative measures (percentages/ratios). This process generated the parameters for estimating and assessing the trends, oil and gas production, quantity spilled, and flared, quantity used, and the distribution of oil and gas across the geopolitical zones. This was facilitated by measurements and comparisons of the trends over time. While this approach helps track the levels of use, the tables highlight potentials, number of fire outbreaks in oil facilities, frequency and percentages, export volumes, the environmental and economic costs. The remaining steps involve spatial analysis and output (maps-tables-text) covering the study period, using Arc GIS 10.4 and SPSS 20.0 The spatial units of analysis under a mix-scale consist of states, region, the nation and the boundary and locations where oil exploration is active. The geographic data for the Niger Delta which covered its boundaries and states, also includes ecological data of land cover files, and paper and digital maps from 2002-2013. The outputs of the spatial data were mapped and compared across time from the 1970s to 2013 to see the dispersion of the trends in oil and gas spills, usage, production, flares, and the socio-economic factors fuelling the proliferation of ecosystem liabilities in the activities of the sector in the study area. For more on the mix- scale methods, the steps involved and the GIS approach, see Appendix 2-3. 2.2. Stage 1: Identification of Variables, Data Gathering and study Design The first step involves the identification of variables needed to assess oil and gas impacts in the nine states of the Niger Della region in Southern region. The variables consist of the frequency of spills, percent of spills, percent of quantity spilled, percentage of change for spills, tonnage of CO2 emissions, natural gas production, total gas utilized, percent of gas flared and fire outbreaks. The others encompasses the number of spills, net volume of spills, production capacity and the percentage distribution of petroleum to Nigeria’s geopolitical zones. Added to the list, are the quantity of crude oil export by region, gas flaring among Sub Saharan African nations in cubic meters, estimates of gas flaring in selected countries, ratio of gas flared to oil produced, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel and pipeline explosions. Additionally, access to databases that are available within the federal and state archives in the Southern Nigerian region and other agencies quickened the search process. The process continued with the design of data matrices for socio-economic and environmental variables covering the periods from 1963, 1976-1986, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2011 and 2013. The design of spatial data for the GIS analysis required also the delineation of state boundary lines. With boundary lines unchanged, a common geographic identifier code was assigned to each of the units to ensure analytical coherency. 3. Results This section of the paper presents the results of the data and environmental analysis of oil and gas liabilities in the study area. There is an initial focus on the temporal profile of gas production trends, and the percentages of change, the extent of regional flaring and spills, and their percentages. This is followed by the analysis of CO2 emission from fossil fuel and flaring, the ecological effects and the GIS mapping of the trends over the years. The others include identification of factors behind the ecological liabilities most notably global export, local demands and ineffective policy. 3.1. Gas Production Trends To better understand the ecosystem risks posed by gas flaring and the liabilities involved in the Niger Delta, one needs to consider such indicators as gas production, the amount utilized, the percentage of flares as a measure of the activity in the region under three different phases from 1991-1996, 1997-2003 and 2004 through 2013. The opening production activity indicates gas production volumes went up from 31,460.00 to 32,084.00 MCM between 1991 and 1992. By 1993-1994 through 1995-1996, the output soared further at levels exceeding 33,680 and (over) thirty five thousand MCM (Million Cubic Meters). While the period of 1997-2003 saw increased gas volumes estimated at levels Public Health Research 2017, 7(1): 3-26 7 higher than million cubic meters, with time, production reached 1,141,967,275 MSCF (Thousand Standard Cubic Feet) in 1997 and continued (in 1998-1999 and 2000) at over 1.3-1.5 MSCF. Between 2004 through 2013, production jumped to over 2 MSCF plus followed by maximum levels of 2,415,649,041-2,400,402,880 MSCF in 2007 to 2011. In the later periods, gas capacity surged further to an all-time high of 2,580,165,626 MSCF by 2012 until a gradual slide to 2,325,137,449 in 2013. With the soaring production levels over these years, came increased volume between 2004 through 2013 compared to the previous years when demands stood at lower levels. Note also that in the 2002-2003 periods, gas utilization rose to significant levels of 897,789,582-983,562,969 MSCF (Table 2). 3.2. Gas Flaring Trends The volume of gas flaring in early 1999s of 1991-1996 was different from 1997 through 2013. Flaring not only grew in geometric proportion as the table implies, but it did get out of hand even though the percentage waned in the later years. Surely, the incidence of gas flaring stayed frequent in the early 1990s (1991-1996) with the volumes at 24,600.00-25,575.00 MCM in 1991-1992 while in 1993 the study area discharged 25,770.00 million cubic meters of gas. Considering the slightly identical flared volumes (26,910.00 -26,986.00 to 26,590.00 and 26,000 million cubic meters) between 1994 through 1996. In a span of 10 years (1997-2007), gas discharge grew to unprecedented levels with the highest point in 2001. This trend continued all through 1997-2000 when flared gas fluctuated from 801,846,530-834,542,305 thousand standard cubic feet to 798,418,851-882,760,070. While in the ensuing periods (2001-2004), atmospheric blazing in 2001 reached its highest level of 920,905,671 along with 753,801,906 for 2002. From 2003 to 2004, gas burning practices held firm at identical levels of 844,978,886-886,540,196 and persisted in 2005-2006 (at 811,315,777, 803,661,823 MSCF). This was followed by another 759,688,726 MSCF dispersed into the air in 2007. By 2008 to 2013, flared gas dropped from 619,398,854 to 409,311,430 MSCF (Table 2). Table 2. Gas Production, Consumption, and Flared 1991-2013 Year Gas Produced Total Gas Used Gas Flared % Flared 1991* 31,460.00 6,800.00 24,660.00 78.38 1992 32,084.00 7,508.00 24,575.00 76.59 1993 33,680.00 7,910.00 25,770.00 76.51 1994 33,680.00 6,770.00 26,910.00 79.89 1995 35,100.00 8,114.00 26,986.00 76.88 1996* 35,450.00 8,860.00 26,590.00 75.00 1997 1,141,967,275 51,748,650 801,846,530 70.21 1998 1,308,017,175 54,743,968 834,542,305 63.8 1999 1,328,353,849 34,339,957 798,418,851 60.11 2000 1,598,950,233 78,410,897* 882,760,070 55.20 2001 1,822,922,111 94,038,772 920,905,671 50.52 2002 1,651,591,488 897,789,582 753,801,906 45.64 2003 1,828,541,855 983,562,969 844,978,886 46.21 2004 2,082,283,189 1,195,742,993 886,540,196 42.58 2005 2,093,628,859 1,282,313,082 811,315,777 38.75 2006 2,182,432,084 1,378,770,261 803,661,823 36.82 2007 2,415,649,041 1,655,960,315 759,688,726 31.45 2008 2,287,547,344 1,668,148,489 619,398,854 27.08 2009 1,837,278,307 1,327,926,402 509,351,905 27.72 2010 2,392,838,898 1,811,270,545 581,568,354 24.30 2011 2,400,402,880 1,781,370,022 619,032,858 25.79 2012 2,580,165,626 1,991,498,902 588,666,724 22.82 2013 2,325,137,449 1,916,531,001 409,311,430 17.60 Source: NNPC, *2005, 2014 8 E. C. Merem et al.: Assessing Ecosystem Liabilities of Oil and Gas Activities in Southern Nigeria 3.2.1. Percentage of Changes in Flared and Produced Gas In a 10 year span of 1991 to 2001, the incidence of gas flaring was so widespread that the percentage equivalence and quantity exceeded consumption. With time, these figures dropped from 55% to 17.60 by 2000 through 2013. Furthermore, during 1991 to 1997, the volume of flared gas also averaged about 76.20% of the overall output. This was evident in the opening four years (1991-1994), when the percent of flared gas opened at higher rates of 78.38 -76.59 and 76.51-79.89. The trends continued unabated in the periods of 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 with the percent of flared gas at maximum levels (of 76.88 to75.00 and 70.21-63.8% and 60.11%) respectively. In the opening decades of 2000 to 2004, at an average of 48.03 percent, flared gas plummeted by 55.20% to 50.52 in 2000 to 2001 and continued (45.64-46.21, and 42.58% in 2002, 2003, 2004). Note also that due to the growing volumes, the percent of flared gas leveled up at 35.67% to 25.54 averages over the later years (2005 to 2007 and 2008-2012) followed by17.60% drop by 2013. Accordingly, the percent of flared gas in the early periods of 1991-1993 reached astronomical levels that surpassed consumption (Table 2). In all those years, the volume of gas production stayed on the rise much of the time with the exception of three different periods (2001-2001, 2007-2008, and 2012 -2013) when it dropped by -9.39 to -5.30 and -9.88%. While during these periods, came multiple gains from 1992-1992 to 2011-2012. Note also additional gains in double digits (14.54- 20.37 and 13.87 to 30.23) from 1997-1998 to 1999-2002 followed by the strong jump of 100.6% in production in 1997 - 2013. These changes show rising gas production with emergent liabilities over the years (Table 3). Table 3. Gas Production Percentage Changes Years 1991-1992 1992-1993 1995-1996 1997-1998 1999-2000 2001-2002 2003-2004 2005-2006 2007-2008 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 1997-2013 Percentage Changes 1.98 4.97 0.99 14.54 20.37 -9.39 13.87 4.24 -5.30 30.23 7.48 -9.88 100.6 3.2.2. Oil Spills Incidents in the Region Based on the information from the table, about a total of 2,571,113.90 barrels were spilled over a 22 year period. Notwithstanding the volumes spilled (26,157.00-32,879.25 barrels) in the initial years of 1976 through 1977. In the other periods (1978, 1979 and 1980), the region saw larger quantities of oil spills estimated at 489,299.75 to 600,000 barrels than any time. From 1981 through 1984, the volume of oil spills at over 40,000 barrels not only outpaced the 1976-1977 levels, but a drop off occurred in 1985-1989. This was followed with visible increases of 106,827.9 8 and 51,131.91 barrels during 1991 to 1992. By 1993, 1995 through 1998, spillages reached substantial levels with 1995 and 1996 accounting for 63,677.17-46,353.12 barrels. Just as the other periods, the region saw more spills of immense volumes measuring 59,272.30-98 345.00 barrels in 1997-1998 (Table 4). The threats posed to the Niger Delta ecosystem can be seen with the frequency of spills and the actual quantity of oil involved. As mentioned earlier, of the total of 5,724 incidents in oil spills recorded, about 2,571,113.90 barrels were spilled in the area. The opening number of spills began at 128 to 104 from 1976 to 1977 and continued at 154 to 157 all through 1978 and 1979. By 1980 to 1982, the frequency of spills jumped to 241, 238 and 257 until a multiyear skid (during 1983 to 1987) of 173, 151, 187, 155 and 129. Aside from numerous fluctuations of 208-201 to 195-160, the number of spills in the study area reached higher levels in 1992 to 1998. During these periods, 1995 outpaced other years with 515 spills followed by 1993, 1995, and 1996 with spillages numbering in the four hundreds. With notable number of spills evident in 1992-1998, the incidents during the 1976 -1979 era appeared lower compared to the other periods (Table 4). With twenty three incidents between 1976 through 1988, the percent of spills in the region occurred at sizable levels. In the early years, the percent of spills incidents from 1 to 16th went from 2.23-3.51. Of those years, 1994, 1992, 1995, and 1996 outpaced the other periods in the percent of spills (8.99%-7.47 and 7.28 -7.51%) followed by the 2.74% in 1979. By the early and the mid1980s to early 1990s, the region averaged 3.69-3.02% in the incidents of spills. Even though the early years of 1978-1980 saw much lesser frequency in oil spills, the overwhelming nature of such a disaster at that time in the absence of a reliable emergency preparedness hindered cleanup efforts. In other words, the volumes of spilled oil in those periods were so big that they exceeded the other years and the capacity of the authorities to initiate complete mitigation (Table 4). As a measure of the gravity of what transpired during those years, the periods of 1978, 1979, and 1980 stood out with large percentages (19.03, 26.99, 23.35) in volumes of spilled oil. They also averaged about 23.12% with a total of 69.37% which exceeded the other periods. Regardless of the frequency, there is no doubt the volumes spilled oil in those early periods of 1978-1980 were not only ecologically damaging, but they did reach calamitous proportions given the relatively lower numbers that followed in the later years of 1981-1998 (Table 4). These indicators as stressors and liabilities represent a measure of the threats oil spills pose to the Niger Delta environment. Public Health Research 2017, 7(1): 3-26 9 Table 4. Distribution of Oil Spills 1976-1998 # Year # Incidents Spills in Barrels 1 1976 128 26,157.00 2 1977 104 32,879.25 3 1978 154 489,294.75 4 1979 157 694,117.13 5 1980 241 600,511.02 6 1981 238 42,722.50 7 1982 257 42,841.00 8 1983 173 48,351.30 9 1984 151 40,209.00 10 1985 187 11,876.60 11 1986 155 12,905.00 12 1987 129 31,866.00 13 1988 208 9,172.00 14 1989 195 7,628.161 15 1990 160 14,940.816 16 1991 201 106,827.98 17 1992 367 51,131.91 18 1993 428 9,752.22 19 1994 515 30,282.67 20 1995 417 63,677.17 21 1996 430 46,353.12 22 1997 339 59,272.30 23 1998 390 98 345.00 NA Total 5724 2,571,113.90 % of Spills 2.23 1.81 2.69 2.74 4.21 4.15 4.48 3.02 2.63 3.26 2.70 2.25 3.63 3.40 2.79 3.51 6.41* 7.47* 8.99* 7.28* 7.51* 5.92* 6.81* 99.89 % Quantity Spilled 1.07 1.27 19.03* 26.99* 23.35* 1.66 1.67 1.88 1.56 0.46 0.50 1.23 0.35 0.29 0.58 4.15 1.98 0.31 1.17 2.47 1.80 2.30 3.82 99.89 Source: Department of Petroleum Resources, Nwilo 2008 3.2.3. Oil spills by Location and Fire Incidents The incidence of oil spills on specific location reached catastrophic proportion between 1979 through 1980 with the Forcados and Funiwa oil spills and well blow out in both Delta and River states. The quantities spilled in these incidents stood at 570,000 to 400,000 barrels of crude petroleum. The same can be said of the Oyakami incident which involved 10,000 barrels during 1980 as well. In the later years, additional cases of oil spills totaling 68,000 barrels occurred in the Warri, Sohika and Idoho areas of Edo, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom between 1982-1983 By 1998-2001, oil spills incidents reemerged with combined 92,000 barrels spewed in Jones creek and Jesse, Ughelli and Bongo in Delta and the Etiam area of Bayelsa states (Table 5). At the same time, casualties from pipe line explosion have also risen in the Niger Delta region with close to 1,300 deaths between 1998 through 2000. Turning to the outbreaks of fire incidents within oil facilities, the Niger Delta oil cities of Port Harcourt and Warri saw more incidents when compared to the other areas in the country during 2000-2013 as presented in the table. Given the volume of activities at the peak of fire outbreaks from 2000-2005, both cities experienced the bulk of most fire mishaps. For both cities, their combined totals in fire accidents ranged from 37-17 and 26-30 in the periods of 2000 and 2001, 2002 through 2003. From 2004 to 2005, the total number of fire incidents in the two major oil cities of Port Harcourt and Warri rose from 36 to 96. Even when the incidents subsided, the two cities also saw notable fire outbreak as well (Appendix 3). Table 5. Summary of Oil Spills in the Niger Delta 1979-2011 Episode Forcados terminal Funiwa No.5 well blow out Oyakama System 2c Warri - Kaduna Pipeline rupture at Abudu Sohika Idoho Jones creek Jesse Etiama Ughelli Bongo Year 1979 1980 1980 1982 1983 1983 1998 1998 2000 2005 2011 State Delta Rivers Rivers Edo Rivers Akwa-Ibom Delta Delta Bayelsa Delta Delta Spills in barrels 570,000 400,000 10,000 18,000 10,000 40,000 21,000 10,000 11,000 10,000 40,000 Source: UNDP, NDHDR 2006 3.3. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions from Gas Flaring Based on the table, the decades of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s (1963-1971, 1971-1980 and 1981-1989) each experienced relatively different levels of exposure to CO2 emission from gas flaring. While the initial decades of 1963-1971 saw a much lower emission average of 7.91 million tons, in the two ensuing decades (of 1971-1980 and 1981-1989), the study area averaged much higher values of 40.12 -27.3. The period of 1972 to 1980 had an average CO2 emission volume of 40.1 million tons. The level of CO2 emissions from gas flaring in the fifteen year span shows lower tonnages (of 1.15 - 1.88, 4.95,-5.19 million tons) in 1963 to 1964 and 1965 through 1966 due to low population. By 1967 to 1970, discharged carbon dioxide from gas flaring continued again at different volumes (4.72, 2.53, 7.89, 15.35, and 27.61 million tons). In the second decade of 1972 to 1980, CO2 rose significantly at a mean value of 40.12. However, during 1981-1989, the discharge of carbon dioxide showed variances at an average of 26.26 MT followed by a visible jump to 36.13 in 1989 (Table 6). Furthermore, the CO2 emission trend for the other periods (1980, 1988 and 1996) adds another interesting perspective. The three decadal averages at maximum volumes (of 25.77, 40.28, and 37.68, million tons) surpassed the emission levels of the 1960s in the region. With an opening CO2 emission of 42.71-26.12 million tons all through 1980 1981, note a gradual stability in emission levels from 1982 through 1987 at an average of 22.89 MT. In spite of the 22.31 million tons in emitted carbon dioxide in 1988, the table reveals a mix of emission patterns fluctuating under a common scale in the low to high 30s-40s in Million Tons by 1989 through 2002. Such temporal snapshots of emission trends do indicate that 10 E. C. Merem et al.: Assessing Ecosystem Liabilities of Oil and Gas Activities in Southern Nigeria the Delta has been at the receiving end of huge negative externalities over the years (Table 7). Table 6. CO2 Emissions from Gas Flaring 1963-1989 in Million Tons Per Year Years 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 Tonnage Emitted 1.15 1.88 4.95 5.19 4.72 2.53 7.89 15.35 27.61 Years 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 Tonnage Emitted 32.41 38.97 50.43 35.69 41.30 33.21 32.83 52.67 43.61 Years 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 Tonnage Emitted 29.58 24.65 24.07 26.21 26.93 26.77 23.58 28.35 36.13 Source: US EIA Table 7. CO2 Emissions from Nigeria’s Gas Flaring 1980-2002 Years 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 Tonnage Emitted 42.71 26.12 23.34 22.77 23.15 23.70 22.92 21.48 Years 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 Tonnage Emitted 22.31 31.63 38.33 41.21 45.30 46.88 48.96 47.68 Years 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Tonnage Emitted 49.70 41.12 38.08 34.29 31.29 34.93 34.38 NA Source: US EIA 3.3.1. CO2 Emission from Fossil Fuel The episodic profile of carbon dioxide emission from fossil fuel is consistent with the continued erosion of Nigeria’s air quality over the years from oil and gas activities. For that reason, note the mounting pace at which carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel changed from 1990 levels (1990-1999) to a high frequency within an eleven year span from 2000 to 2010. By 1990 to 1993, the volume of carbon dioxide emissions not only stood firm at 12,374-12,339 to 17,694-16,373 tons, but the discharges still persisted at 12,724 to 9,522 and 11,023–10,960 thousand metric tons in 1994-1997. In the following period of 1998 through 1999, CO2 emission values from fossil fuel soared from 10,958 to 12,214 thousand metric tons. Going by the data on the table, beginning from the 2000-2008, much of the emissions levels at that period, seemed to have exceeded the 21,000 metric tons mark with the exception of 2009 when the emission level plummeted to 19,558 metric tons. The individual breakdown of the trends by year points to maximum emission volumes between 2000 through 2005. This was followed by additional tonnages of 26,865-25,964 and 21,519 for 2006-2010 at levels higher than the 1990s (Table 8). Table 8. CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel in Thousand Metric Tons Year 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total 12,374 12,339 17,694 16,379 12,724 9,522 11,023 10,960 10,958 12,214 21,593 22,730 26,759 25,399 26,465 28,551 26,865 25,964 25,258 19,558 21,519 Source: US Oak Ridge National Energy Laboratory Another way to measure the extent and form of ecological liabilities from oil and gas activities in the Niger Delta region of the country comes from looking at the flaring and ratio of gas flared to oil production between 1990 through 2000 in selected countries. The geographic scope of the distribution with nations of the global south and northern hemisphere puts flared gas figures for Nigeria of 17.2 much higher than the African nations of Angola and Egypt at 4.3 to 0.9. In comparison to the non OPEC economies such as China, Russia, and the United States, note that their flared gas levels of 3.2, 11.5 and 2.8 appeared lower than that of Nigeria. While the other OPEC members like Venezuela and Iran had lower levels of flared gas than Nigeria. The share of the world total ratio of flared gas to oil produced all through 1990 to 2000 still showed Nigeria ahead of the others. At that time, Nigeria’s share of the world total stood at 16 and those of Russia and Iran remained at 11-10 respectively. The figures for other nations like China, USA and Venezuela stood at 3.2, 4.5 and 2.8 individually during these periods. For Nigeria, the ratio of flared gas in 1990 to produced oil in 2000 held firm at 250 to 166 than other nations (Table 9). Turning to Gas flaring distribution among Sub-Saharan African Nations between 1985 through 2010, the numbers for Nigeria once gain outpaced other nations therein listed. In 1985 when Nigeria accounted for 27.09 cubic meters in gas flaring, the values of flared gas for other countries were not only miniscule in comparison, but even those that stood out most notably Angola, Cameroons, and Congo and Gabon all Public Health Research 2017, 7(1): 3-26 11 had single digit values of 4.51, 1.15, and 1.08, 2.15 in million cubic meters. In the ensuing years of 2000, 2005, to 2010, the gas flaring values for Nigeria at 27.12, 21.25, and 15.18 still exceeded those of the Sub-Saharan African countries at much higher levels. That is still quite substantial when compared to the only nation, Angola whose volumes of flared gas during those years were estimated at 5.94-4.72 and 4.08 million cubic meters. What this implies is that Nigeria’s level of gas flaring by far exceeds those of other nations in Sub-Saharan Africa and that threatens air quality and the fragile ecosystem of the Niger Delta region (Table 10). Table 9. Flaring in Selected Nations in 2000 and Ratio of Gas Flared in 1990 Countries Algeria Angola China Egypt Indonesia Iran Nigeria Mexico North Sea Russia Venezuela USA Other Countries World Flared Gas 6.8 4.3 3,2 0.9 41.5 10.5 17.2 5.6 2.7 11.5 4.5 2,8 33 107.5 Share of world total 6 4 4 1 4 10 16 5 3 11 4 3 30 100 Ratio of Gas Flared 1990 79 n/a n/a 37 6.6 70 250 n/a 18 n/a 30 10 -- To Oil output, 2000 101 118 74 23 6.6 56 166 33 9 77 27 22 -- Source: US EIA, IEA, World Bank, ERA Table 10. Gas Flaring in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) in Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) Countries Angola Cameroun Chad Congo Ivory Coast DRC Equatorial Guinea Ghana Nigeria South Africa Gabon Global 1985 4.51 1,15 0.00 1.08 0.06 0.53 0.61 0.00 27.09 0.06 215 154.97 2000 5.94 1,19 0.00 2,02 0.09 0.43 1,21 0,00 27.12 0.83 2.54 164.90 2005 4,72 0.97 0.09 1.79 0,04 0.44 1.36 0.01 21.25 0.14 2.36 171.65 2010 4.08 0.92 0.05 1.08 0.09 0.39 0.35 0.02 15.18 0.10 1.68 133.80 Source: EU Parliament, NOAA 3.4. The Impacts on the Ecosystem In terms of the threats posed by ecological liabilities of petroleum activities, the table indicates that in the states of Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa, significant acreages of the local ecology such as fresh water swamp forest, mangroves forest, and mangrove swamp, have been severely impacted by recurrent cases of oil spills in the region. Being an ecozone rich in biodiversity with habitats for different life forms, the frequent spill incidents in these places threatens the carrying capacity of these natural systems and the social environment which the local community depend on [26-29]. Among the impacts within the states and communities, Bayelsa experienced more oil spills on about 220 acreages of sensitive fresh water swamps and mangrove, followed by 105 in Delta and another 30 acreages of fresh water swamp in Rivers. The damage done by oil spill incidents impedes critical life support functions of these complex ecosystems, natural processes and ecosystem stability necessary for survival in the Niger Delta. Such impairments also occur at the detriment of adjoining communities especially those in the three states with more acreages of local ecosystem under oil spillage. The breakdown among the areas shows both Azuzuma, and Opuekebe in Bayelsa and Delta with 50 acreages of mangrove and barrier forest inland severally threatened while Rumookwurusi saw 20 acreages of its freshwater swamp laced with oil (Table 11). Table 11. Impacted Natural Habitats in the Delta Ecosystem Location Biseni Etiama / Nembe Etelebu Perembiri Adebawa Diebu Tebidaba Nembe Creek Azuzuama Opuekebe Jones Creek Ugbeji Ughelli Jesse Rumookwurusi Rukpoku Environment Impacted Areas (ha) Bayesla State Freshwater Swamp Forest 20 Freshwater Swamp Forest 20 Freshwater Swamp Forest 30 Freshwater Swamp Forest 30 Freshwater Swamp Forest 10 Freshwater Swamp Forest 20 Freshwater Swamp Forest, 30 Mangrove Mangrove Forest 10 Mangrove 50 Delta State Barrier Forest Inland 50 Mangrove Forest 35 Mangrove 2 Fresh water Swamp forest 10 Fresh water Swamp forest 8 Rivers State Freshwater swamp 20 Freshwater swamp 10 Incident Oil Spillage Oil Spillage& Fire Oil spill Oil spill Oil spill Oil spill Oil spill Oil spill Oil spill Soil water Intrusion Spillage and Burning Refinery Waste Oil Spillage/ Well leak Product leak/ Burning Oil spillage Oil spillage Source: FME, NCF, WWF UK, CEEP-IUCN, Ayuba 2012 12 E. C. Merem et al.: Assessing Ecosystem Liabilities of Oil and Gas Activities in Southern Nigeria Figure 2. Fire Incidents in Oil Facilities in Nigeria, in 2000 Figure 3. Fire Incidents in Oil Facilities in Nigeria, in 2001

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