Zero gas flaring in Niger Delta Area of Nigeria: a way to environmental sustainability
Oil drilling had led to gas flaring which is the burning of natural gas that is associated with crude oil when it is pumped up from the ground. This is the preferred means of disposing waste gas associated with oil exploitation in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria by many multinational oil companies that operate in the fields. This industrial activity runs on a very fragile ecosystem in the Niger delta area and had led to severe environmental degradation. The Niger delta is Africa’s largest delta and the third world largest. It is one of the largest wetlands in the world, consisting of coastal island, mangrove swamp, freshwater and rainforest zones. Secondary data, oral interviews and direct and first-hand observation were used as sources of information.
Although there are sound legal frameworks for oil and gas operations in Nigeria, double standards and shifting commitment on the part of both the operating Oil Corporations and the government has voided its implementation. It was recommended that oil companies should be compelled to stop flaring and put the gas into other domestic and industrial uses. In addition, residential areas in Niger Delta should be situated at a minimum of 5 km away from the flaring point.
Keywords: oil drilling, gas flaring, Niger Delta, environmental degradation, legal framework