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Impact of gas flaring on surface and underground water: a case study of Anieze and Okwuibome areas of Delta State, Nigeria

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Abstract

Gas flaring is a major activity in oil exploration processes in Nigeria with concerns on its effects on the oil communities. This study investigated the contribution of flare gases to pollution burden of Anieze and Okwuibome communities. Water samples were displayed at 10-m, 50-m, and 100-m locations from gas-flaring stations, and control samples were taken in another location. After a month, the water samples were examined for heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and physico-chemical parameters. Pb was found only in the 50-m location and above the WHO standard. Fe, Zn, and Cr were detected in the order 10 m > 50 m > 100 m > control whereas Cd was detected in the order 100 m > 50 m > 10 m > control. Fe, Zn, Cr, and Cd were linked to gas-flaring activities. The total PAHs were found in the order 10 m (1929.43 μg/L) > 100 m (1759.64 μg/L) > 50 m (620.27 μg/L) > control (389.37 μg/L). The signature ratio related the PAH sources to combination of petroleum and combustion sources. The sources of the PAHs were linked to the flare gas. The study implicates gas-flaring activities for the increased pollution burden in the communities and suggests policies that guide its reduction in petroleum explorations.

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Correspondence to Rose Alani.

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Alani, R., Nwude, D., Joseph, A. et al. Impact of gas flaring on surface and underground water: a case study of Anieze and Okwuibome areas of Delta State, Nigeria. Environ Monit Assess 192, 166 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-020-8124-6

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Keywords

  • Gas flaring
  • PAHs
  • Heavy metals
  • Surface and underground water
  • Hydraulic conductivity