Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 110, Issue 1–3, pp 129–139 | Cite as

Extractable Hydrocarbons, Nickel and Vanadium Contents of Ogbodo-Isiokpo Oil Spill Polluted Soils in Niger Delta, Nigeria



An oil spill polluted site at Ogbodo-Isiokpo in Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State in southern Nigeria, was identified for study following three successive reconnaissance surveys of oil fields in the Agbada west plain of Eastern Niger Delta. A sampling area of 200 m × 200 m was delimited at the oil spill impacted site using the grid technique and soils were collected at surface (0–15 cm) and subsurface (15–30 cm) depths from three replicate quadrats. A geographically similar, unaffected area, located 50 m adjacent to the polluted site, was chosen as a control (reference) site. Total extractable hydrocarbon contents of the polluted soils ranged from 3.02–4.54 and 1.60–4.20 mg/kg (no overlap in standard errors) at surface and subsurface depths respectively. The concentrations of two “diagnostic” trace heavy metals, nickel (Ni) and vanadium (V), which are normal constituents of crude oil, were also determined in the soils by atomic absorption spectrophotometric method after pre-extraction of cations with dithionite–citrate carbonate. Ni varied from 0.15 to 1.65 mg/kg in the polluted plots and from 0.18 to 0.82 mg/kg in the unpolluted plots; vanadium varied from 0.19 to 0.70 mg/kg in the polluted plots and from 0.14 to 0.38 mg/kg in the unpolluted plots. Ni and V were more enhanced (p < 0.05) in the oil-polluted soils, especially at subsurface depth. Whilst the oil spillage could be said to be indirectly responsible for the enhanced concentrations of nickel and vanadium via the injection and availability of the petroleum hydrocarbons that might have increased the activities of biodegradation on site, the physico-chemical properties of the soils and inherent mobility of metals, as well as the intense rainfall and flooding that characterized the period of study, may have also contributed, at least in part, to these enhanced concentrations. Such levels of Ni and V may result to enhanced absorption by plants, which may bring about possible bioaccumulation in such plants and the animals that depend on them for survival and all of these may lead to toxic reactions along the food chain.


crude oil hydrocarbon nickel Niger Delta oil spill polluted soils vanadium 


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© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial & Pure ChemistryUniversity of Port HarcourtChoba Port HarcourtNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Crop Protection and Environmental BiologyUniversity of IbadanNigeria

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