CAUSES AND EFFECT OF OIL SPILLAGE IN EKET LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

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CHAPTER ONE

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Oil spill is a type of pollution that occurs mostly in water as well as on land and can have devastating effect on plant and animal lives, and the environment. It occurs mostly as a result of human activity (exploration and transport of oil) and is the release of oil/liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the aquatic environment such as ocean and coastal water and on land. Spills may occur of crude oil (unrefined oil) from tankers, oil rigs and platform and oil wells as well as during the transportation of the refined petroleum product in vessels and tankers. Oil spillage may take months or even years to clean up. Oil also enters the marine environment from natural oil seeps. Public attention and regulation has tended to focus mostly on seagoing oil tankers’ (AM. J. Sci. Ind. Res, 2011) 2 (6): 834-845).

The effect of oil resource extraction on the environment of Niger Delta has been very glaring in terms of negative effect on the region. Inya (1997), stated that oil exploration and exploitation have over the last four decades impacted disastrously on the socio-physical environment of the Niger Delta oil bearing communities, massively threatening the subsistent economy and the environment and hence the entire livelihood and basic survival of the people.

There is no doubt that the Nigerian oil industry has affected the country in a variety of ways at the same time. On the one hand, it has fashioned a remarkable economic landscape for the country; However, on the negative side, petroleum exploration and production also has adverse effect on fishing and farming which are the traditional means of livelihood of the people of the oil producing communities in Niger Delta. If the oil is considered in view of its enormous contributions to foreign exchange earnings, it has achieved a remarkable success on the other scale, when considered in respect of its negative impact on the socio-economic life and the environment of the immediate oil bearing local communities and its inhabitants, it has left a balance sheet of ecological and socio-physical disaster (Ach,2003).

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