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Gas Flaring In Ebocha, Nigeria


Description:

Every year, millions of dollars are literally going up in smoke in Nigeria, Africas top crude oil-exporting nation; companies infact usually burn off unwanted natural gas released during oil production.

This flaring and venting produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than any other single source in South Saharian Africa, and many who live in oil-producing communities complain about chronic health and environmental problems associated with the gas flares.

Much of the Nigerian region where oil is pumped is a maze of winding mangrove creeks and waterways. Leafy, green and humid, Ebocha-Egbema is an unremarkable collection of small villages with tin-roof houses and shops, located in the heart of the Rivers State in Nigerias turbulent oil-producing Niger Delta.

Huge flames billow in the air over Ebocha, and above them, black clouds leap into the sky. The giant gas flares operated by Agip-Nigeria belch out noxious fumes that loom over homes, farms and shops. Theres a strange smell and an audible hiss in the air.

Residents of the Niger Delta region, where Ebocha is located, say gas flaring is ruining lives and livelihoods.

Despite these complains, Agip continue to flare gas in the area. Their operation has truncated the livelihoods of the local people, and diseases such as Asthma, Bronchitis, Cancer and other respiratory track diseases are wide spread in the area, and adjourning communities.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Gas Flaring In Ebocha, Nigeria
Country:Nigeria
State or province:Rivers State
Location of conflict:Ogba kingdom in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Gas flaring
Specific commodities:Natural Gas
Crude oil

Project Details and Actors

Project details

According to the Nigerian Nation Petroleum Corporation annual Bulletin report (2010), Agip owns 15 oil wells in Ebocha, about 642,539 barrels of oil is produced and about 65% of associated gas is flared.

Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actors:Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Environmental Rights Action, Oilwatch Nigeria

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Landless peasants
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Women
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution
Potential: Fires, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases
Potential: Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Violations of human rights, Land dispossession

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Negotiated alternative solution
Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:Agip and the Nigerian Government must put and end to gas flaring in Ebocha and other Niger Delta Communities.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite complains from the community, Agip continues to flare gas in the area. Their operation has truncated the livelihoods of the local people, and diseases such as Asthma, Bronchitis, Cancer and other respiratory track diseases are wide spread in the area, and adjourning communities.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Annual Statistical Bulletin: A publication of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, 2010.

Report Il Delta dei Veleni and Video doc Oil for Nothing - Re:Common (Italian and English)
http://www.recommon.org/campagna-delta-del-niger-nigeria/

Environmental Rights Action
http://www.eraction.org/component/content/article/225

NPR
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12175714

Climate Law
http://www.climatelaw.org/cases/case-documents/nigeria/report/section7

Other comments:Oil is a mainstay of Nigerias economy, and the government acknowledges that the oil industry still flares 24 billion cubic meters of gas a year, enough to power a good portion of Africa for a whole year.
Despite its oil wealth, Nigeria itself suffers chronic energy shortages. The gas is often burned right next door to homes that dont have electricity, and while theres a local market for the natural gas vented during oil production, its less profitable than crude oil. Critics warn that not enough is being done to put out flares or save gas that could be harvested and used within the country.

Meta information

Contributor:Nnimmo Bassey
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:565