Environmental Fate of Toxic Volatile Organics from Oil Spills in the Niger Delta Region, Nigeria

  • Nimisingha Sanchez Deinkuro University of Strathclyde
  • Charles William Knapp University of Strathclyde
  • Morufu Olalekan Raimi Niger Delta University
  • Nanlok Henry Nimlang National Centre for Remote Sensing
Keywords: Benzene, Toluene and Naphthalene (BTN), Niger Delta Region (NDR), Organic-carbon partitioning coefficient (Koc), Soil-water distribution coefficient (Kd)


Over the years, the environmental degradation of ecological resources from crude oil pollution and its human health impacts is receiving more global attention. The utilization of environmental models capable of predicting the fate, transport, and toxicity of chemicals in spilt crude oil can provide essential knowledge required to deal with the complexity associated with the fate of volatile petroleum chemicals in the environment. This paper explores the environmental fate of toxic volatile organics from an oil spill in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Results from the literature implicated sabotage and operational failures from pipelines as primary causes of crude oil spillages. The generation of a fugacity model using EPI Suite™ revealed that Koc values greatly influence the behavior of BTN. Benzene, Toluene, and Naphthalene (BTN) were partitioned into three compartments based on organic-carbon partitioning coefficient (Koc). The organic-carbon partitioning coefficient (Koc) was computed as a function of soil-water distribution coefficient (Kd) and percentage organic matter (%OM). Koc was used to determining the possible risk posed on delicate ecological resources. Aquatic toxicology estimation using Ecological Structural Activity Relationship revealed that all chemicals were not toxic even at over-estimated Koc values. This research established the usefulness of screening level environmental modeling tools in assessing ecological risk and hence helpful in developing site-specific models for monitoring chemicals in the environment, which can assist governments, policymakers, and industries in designing appropriate regional disaster management plans.


Download data is not yet available.


E. Okoyen, M. O. Raimi, O. Oluwatoyin, and E. A. Williams, “Governing the environmental impact of dredging: Consequences for marine biodiversity in the niger delta region of Nigeria,” Insights Min. Sci. Technol., vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 555–586, 2020.

T. R. Odubo and M. O. Raimi, “Resettlement and readjustment patterns of rural dwellers during and after flood disasters in Bayelsa State Nigeria,” Br. J. Environ. Sci., vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 45–52, 2019.

M. O. Raimi et al., “Do Weak Institutions Prolong Crises?[# ENDSARs] in the Light of the Challenges and opportunities beyond COVID-19 Pandemic and the Next Normal in Nigeria,” Commun. Soc. Media, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1–19, 2021.

M. O. Raimi, E. C. Lucky, E. Okoyen, A. Clement, C. Ogbointuwei, and A. Babatunde, “COVID-19 Decision Impacts: Vaccine Hesitancy, its Barriers and Impact Studies: Taking Bayelsa State as an Example.,” 2021.

M. O. Raimi, O. T. Vivien, O. Alima, E. H. Akpojubaro, and E. A. Williams, “Articulating the Effect of Pesticides Use and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The Science of Improving Lives through Decision Impacts,” Res. World Agric. Econ., vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 29–36, 2021.

T. K. Samson, O. M. Ogunlaran, and M. O. Raimi, “A Predictive Model for Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria,” Eur. J. Appl. Sci., vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 1–10, 2020.

M. O. Raimi, L. O. Ayinla, and O. Alima, “First to Respond Last To Leave: The Role of Para-Military Agencies in Disaster Management: Evidence from Nigeria,” Sumerianz J. Med. Healthc., vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 96–100, 2021.

M. O. Raimi, O. A. Oluwatoyin, S. H. Olawale, O. O. Emmanuel, and A. Z. Olalekan, “A Critical Review of Health Impact Assessment: Towards Strengthening the Knowledge of Decision Makers Understand Sustainable Development Goals in the Twenty-First Century: Necessity Today; Essentiality Tomorrow. Research and Advances,” Environ. Sci., vol. 1, pp. 72–84, 2020.

O. A. Oluwatoyin, M. O. Raimi, and S. H. Olawale, “A review of environmental, social and health impact assessment (Eshia) practice in Nigeria: a panacea for sustainable development and decision making,” MOJ Public Heal., vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 81–87, 2020.

A. O. Omidiji and M. O. Raimi, “Practitioners Perspective of Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) Practice in Nigeria: A Vital Instrument for Sustainable Development,” Assoc. Environ. Impact Assess. Niger. Impact Assess. A Tool Achiev. Sustain. Dev. Goals Niger. 7th 8th November, 2019 Univ. Port Harcourt, 2019.

M. O. Raimi, Z. Adio, O. O. Emmanuel, T. K. Samson, B. S. Ajayi, and T. J. Ogunleye, “Impact of Sawmill Industry on Ambient Air Quality: A Case Study of Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria,” Energy Earth Sci., vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1–25, 2020.

M. O. Raimi, A. T. Adedotun, O. O. Emmanuel, and B. Anu, “An analysis of bayelsa state water challenges on the rise and its possible solutions,” Acta Sci. Agric., vol. 3, no. 2019, pp. 110–125, 2019.

M. O. Raimi, O. A. Oluwatoyin, and A. Olalekan, “Health Impact Assessment: A tool to Advance the Knowledge of Policy Makers Understand Sustainable Development Goals: A Review,” ES J. Public Heal., vol. 1, no. 1, p. 1002, 2020.

P. Edna Ateboh and M. O. Raimi, “Corporate civil liability and compensation regime for environmental pollution in the Niger Delta,” Int. J. Recent Adv. Multidiscip. Res., vol. 5, no. 06, pp. 3870–3893, 2018.

E. A. Williams, R. M. Olalekan, E. I. Yarwamara, and O. Modupe, “Renewable Energy Sources for the Present and Future: An Alternative Power Supply for Nigeria,” Energy Earth Sci., vol. 2, no. 2, 2019.

R. M. Suleiman, M. O. Raimi, and O. H. Sawyerr, “A Deep Dive into The Review of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Act,” Int. Res. J. Appl. Sci., pp. 2663–5577, 2019.

M. O. Raimi, A. A. Ayibatonbira, B. Anu, O. E. Odipe, and N. S. Deinkuro, “’Digging Deeper’Evidence on Water Crisis and Its Solution in Nigeria for Bayelsa State: A Study of Current Scenario,” Int J Hydro, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 244–257, 2019.

M. O. Raimi, O. O. Bilewu, Z. Adio, and A. Halimat, “Women contributions to sustainable environments in Nigeria,” J. Sci. Res. Allied Sci., vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 35–51, 2019.

P. H. Albers, “Petroleum and individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” in Handbook of Ecotoxicology, CRC Press, 2002, pp. 365–396.

O. H. Sawyerr, O. E. Odipe, M. O. Raimi, and O. H. Ogungbemi, “Assessment of Cyanide and Some Heavy Metals Concentration in Consumable Cassava Flour’Lafun’Across Osogbo Metropolis, Nigeria,” MOJ Eco Env. Sci, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 369–372, 2018.

M. O. Raimi and S. C. Ezugwu, “An Assessment of Trace Elements in Surface and Ground Water Quality in the Ebocha-Obrikom Oil and Gas Producing Area of Rivers State, Nigeria.,” Int. J. Sci. Eng. Res., vol. 8, no. 7, 2017.

R. M. Olalekan, A. O. Omidiji, E. A. Williams, M. B. Christianah, and O. Modupe, “The roles of all tiers of government and development partners in environmental conservation of natural resource: a case study in Nigeria,” MOJ Ecol. Environ. Sci., vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 114–121, 2019.

M. O. Raimi et al., “Women role in environmental conservation and development in Nigeria,” Ecol Conserv Sci, vol. 1, no. 2, 2019.

M. O. Raimi, “21st Century emerging issues in pollution control. 6th Global Summit and Expo on Pollution Control May 06-07, 2019 Amsterdam.” Netherlands, 2019.

M. O. Raimi, D. Nimisngha, O. E. Odipe, and A. S. Olalekan, “Health risk assessment on heavy metals ingestion through groundwater drinking pathway for residents in an oil and gas producing area of Rivers State, Nigeria,” Open J. Yangtze Oil Gas, vol. 3, pp. 191–206, 2018.

M. O. Raimi and S. C. Ezugwu, “Influence of organic amendment on microbial activities and growth of pepper cultured on crude oil contaminated Niger delta soil,” Int. J. Econ. Energy Environ., vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 56–76, 2017.

O. B. Akpomuvie and B. Orhioghene, “Tragedy of commons: Analysis of oil spillage, gas flaring and sustainable development of the Niger Delta of Nigeria,” J. Sustain. Dev., vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 200–210, 2011.

A. S. Bakare and F. O. Fawehinmi, “An econometric study of the contribution of oil sector to the standard of living in Nigeria: 1975-2008,” Asian J. Bus. Manag. Sci., vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 1–8, 2011.

A. O. Dokpesi, “Environmental degradation and the prospects of remediation in the Niger Delta,” Soc. Probl. Theor. Paradig. Contemp. Sociol., pp. 88–106, 2004.

L. C. Osuji, E. J. Egbuson, and C. M. Ojinnaka, “Assessment and treatment of hydrocarbon inundated soils using inorganic nutrient (NPK) supplements: II. A case study of eneka oil spillage in Niger Delta, Nigeria,” Environ. Monit. Assess., vol. 115, no. 1, pp. 265–278, 2006.

M. O. Raimi, O. T. Vivien, O. E. Odipe, and O. E. Owobi, “The sources of water supply, sanitation facilities and hygiene practices in oil producing communities in central senatorial district of Bayelsa state, Nigeria,” MOJ Public Heal., vol. 7, no. 6, pp. 337–345, 2018.

R. M. Olalekan et al., “Leaving No One Behind? Drinking-Water Challenge on the Rise in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Review,” Merit Res. J. Environ. Sci. Toxicol., vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 31–49, 2020.

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), “Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland,” 2011. http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/OEA/UNEP_OEA.pdf (accessed Jun. 02, 2021).

A. O. Barakat, Y. Qian, M. Kim, and M. C. Kennicutt II, “Chemical characterization of naturally weathered oil residues in arid terrestrial environment in Al-Alamein, Egypt,” Environ. Int., vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 291–310, 2001.

T. L. Potter and K. E. Simmons, Composition of petroleum mixtures, vol. 2. Amherst Scientific Publishers Massachusetts, 1998.

R. J. Irwin, M. Van Mouwerik, L. Stevens, M. D. Seese, and W. Basham, “Environmental contaminants encyclopedia: benzene entry,” Natl. Park Serv. Water Resour. Div. Water Oper. Branch, Fort Collins Color., 1997.

M. O. Hayes, R. Hoff, J. Michel, D. Scholz, and G. Shigenaka, “Introduction to coastal habitats and biological resources for oil-spill response,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WA (United States …, 1992.

L. Clements, T. Palaia, and J. Davis, Characterisation of sites impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons: National guideline document. CRC CARE, 2009.

Z. Wang, S. A. Stout, and M. Fingas, “Forensic fingerprinting of biomarkers for oil spill characterization and source identification,” Environ. Forensics, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 105–146, 2006.

G. D. Todd, R. L. Chessin, and J. Colman, “Toxicological profile for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH),” 1999.

M. San Sebastián, B. Armstrong, J. A. Córdoba, and C. Stephens, “Exposures and cancer incidence near oil fields in the Amazon basin of Ecuador,” Occup. Environ. Med., vol. 58, no. 8, pp. 517–522, 2001.

R. A. Gift and R. M. Olalekan, “Access to electricity and water in Nigeria: a panacea to slow the spread of Covid-19,” Open Access J Sci, vol. 4, no. 2, p. 34, 2020.

R. A. Gift, M. O. Raimi, O. E. Owobi, R. M. Oluwakemi, B. Anu, and A. A. Funmilayo, “Nigerians crying for availability of electricity and water: a key driver to life coping measures for deepening stay at home inclusion to slow covid-19 spread,” Open Access J. Sci., vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 69–80, 2020.

M. O. Raimi and R. A. Gift, “The Toughest Triage in Decision Impacts: Rethinking Scientific Evidence for Environmental and Human Health Action in the Times of Concomitant Global Crises,” Raimi Morufu Olalekan Raimi Aziba-anyam Gift (2020). Toughest Triage Decis. Impacts Rethink. Sci. Evid. Environ. Hum. Heal. Action Times Concomitant Glob. Cris. CPQ Med., vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1–5, 2020.

M. O. Raimi and C. Ezekwe, Assessment of Trace Element in Surface and Ground Water Quality. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2017.

O. E. Odipe et al., “Assessment of Environmental Sanitation, Food Safety Knowledge, Handling Practice among Food Handlers of Bukateria Complexes in Iju Town, Akure North of Ondo-State, Nigeria.,” Acta Sci. Nutr. Heal., vol. 3, no. 6, 2019.

P. C. Nwilo and O. T. Badejo, “Oil spill problems and management in the Niger Delta,” in International oil spill conference, 2005, vol. 2005, no. 1, pp. 567–570.

M. O. Raimi et al., “Health Impact Assessment: Expanding Public Policy Tools for Promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria,” EC Emerg. Med. Crit. Care, 2020.

I. C. Mba, “Application of the stochastic Markov model in predicting the volume of oil spill in Nigeria: a case of the Niger-Delta region,” 670216917, 2019.

C. Plessl, E. O. Otachi, W. Körner, A. Avenant-Oldewage, and F. Jirsa, “Fish as bioindicators for trace element pollution from two contrasting lakes in the Eastern Rift Valley, Kenya: spatial and temporal aspects,” Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res., vol. 24, no. 24, pp. 19767–19776, 2017.

N. S. Akpan, “From agriculture to petroleum oil production: What has changed about Nigeria’s rural development?,” Int. J. Dev. Soc., vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 97–106, 2012.

F. T. Ademiluyi and O. Braide, “Effectiveness of Nigerian bamboo activated with different activating agents on the adsorption of BTX,” J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Manag., vol. 16, no. 3, 2012.

F. T. Ademiluyi, S. A. Amadi, and N. J. Amakama, “Adsorption and Treatment of Organic Contaminants using Activated Carbon from Waste Nigerian Bamboo.,” J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Manag., vol. 13, no. 3, 2009.

P. C. Nwilo and O. T. Badejo, “Impacts of oil spills along the Nigerian coast,” Assoc. Environ. Heal. Sci., vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 140–192, 2001.

P. C. Nwilo and O. T. Badejo, “Management of oil spill dispersal along the Nigerian coastal areas,” 2004.

C. H. Wizor and E. Wali, “Crude Oil Theft in the Niger Delta: The Oil Companies and Host Communities Conundrum,” Int. J. Res. Sci. Innov., vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 22–32, 2020.

A. A. Kadafa, “Oil exploration and spillage in the Niger Delta of Nigeria,” Civ. Environ. Res., vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 38–51, 2012.

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), “Oil Spill Data,” 2021. https://www.shell.com.ng/sustainability/environment/oil-spills.html. (accessed May 16, 2021).

P. Eckle, P. Burgherr, and E. Michaux, “Risk of large oil spills: a statistical analysis in the aftermath of Deepwater Horizon,” Environ. Sci. Technol., vol. 46, no. 23, pp. 13002–13008, 2012.

W. J. Shittu, “Mapping oil spill human health risk in rivers state, Niger Delta, Nigeria.” University of Nottingham, 2014.

M. O. Raimi, A. A. Timothy, E. Enabulele Chris, and A. S. Olalekan, “Assessment of air quality indices and its health impacts in ilorin metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria,” Sci. Park Journals Sci. Res. Impact Vol. 4, pp. 60–74, 2018.

A. F. Ajibola, M. O. Raimi, O. C. Steve-Awogbami, A. O. Adeniji, and A. P. Adekunle, “Policy Responses to Addressing the Issues of Environmental Health Impacts of Charcoal Factory in Nigeria: Necessity Today; Essentiality Tomorrow,” Commun. Soc. Media, ISSN, pp. 2576–5388, 2020.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Estimation programs interface suiteTM for Microsoft® windows, v 4.11. Washington, DC, USA: USEPA, 2012.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), “Exposure Assessment Tools and Models, Screening Level Tools,” 2010. http://www.epa.gov/oppt/exposure/pubs/screen.htm (accessed Jun. 03, 2021).

C. T. Chiou, Partition and adsorption of organic contaminants in environmental systems. John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

A. Adeolu, O. E. Odipe, and M. O. Raimi, “Practices and Knowledge of Household Residents to Lead Exposure in Indoor Environment in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria,” Adeolu al, pp. 1–10, 2018.

K. Mayo-Bean, K. Moran, B. Meylan, and P. Ranslow, “Methodology document for the ECOlogical structure-activity relationship model (ECOSAR) class program,” US-EPA Washingt. DC, 2012.

D. Mackay, “Finding fugacity feasible,” Environ. Sci. Technol., vol. 13, no. 10, pp. 1218–1223, 1979.

N. Myers, R. A. Mittermeier, C. G. Mittermeier, G. A. B. Da Fonseca, and J. Kent, “Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities,” Nature, vol. 403, no. 6772, pp. 853–858, 2000.

E. Obot, Q. B. Antonio, S. Braide, M. Dore, C. Wicks, and R. Steiner, “Niger delta natural resource damage assessment and restoration project,” Rep. Submitt. to Fed. Minist. Environ. Abuja Niger. Conserv. Found. Lagos, 2006.

Science Advisory Board, “Quality Review Draft,” 2007. http://www.epa.gov/sab/panels/epi_suite_review_panel.htm (accessed Nov. 01, 2021).

O. Lindén and J. Pålsson, “Oil contamination in ogoniland, Niger Delta,” Ambio, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 685–701, 2013.

P. C. Oguike and J. S. C. Mbagwu, “Variations in some physical properties and organic matter content of soils of coastal plain sand under different land use types,” World J. Agric. Sci., vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 63–69, 2009.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), “Understanding Variation in Partition Coefficient Kd Values,” 1999. http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/kdreport/vol1/402-r-99-004a.pdf. (accessed May 31, 2021).

H. R. Andersen, M. Hansen, J. Kjølholt, F. Stuer-Lauridsen, T. Ternes, and B. Halling-Sørensen, “Assessment of the importance of sorption for steroid estrogens removal during activated sludge treatment,” Chemosphere, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 139–146, 2005.

J. Sangster, “Octanol‐water partition coefficients of simple organic compounds,” J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 1111–1229, 1989.

Amnesty International, “Nigeria: Hundreds of oil spills continue to blight Niger Delta,” 2016. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/03/hundreds-of-oil-spills-continue-to-blight-niger-delta/ (accessed May 30, 2021).

I. A. Udoh, “Public health emergency, UNEP environmental assessment and the cleanup of Nigeria’s Niger Delta,” Arts Humanit. Open Access J., vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 386–389, 2018.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “Nigeria analysis. US Energy Information Administration,” 2014. https://www.eia.gov/analysis/ (accessed May 30, 2021).

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), “Niger Delta Human Development Report,” 2016. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/nigeria_hdr_report.pdf (accessed May 31, 2021).

K. Gruiz, T. Meggyes, and É. Fenyvesi, Engineering tools for environmental risk Management: 2. Environmental toxicology. CRC Press, 2015.

H. E. Keenan, A. Sakultantimetha, and S. Bangkedphol, “Environmental fate and partition co-efficient of oestrogenic compounds in sewage treatment process,” Environ. Res., vol. 106, no. 3, pp. 313–318, 2008.

M. O. Raimi, T. K. Samson, A. B. Sunday, A. Z. Olalekan, O. O. Emmanuel, and O. T. Jide, “Air of Uncertainty from pollution profiteers: Status of ambient air quality of sawmill industry in Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria,” 2021.

How to Cite
N. S. Deinkuro, C. W. Knapp, M. O. Raimi, and N. H. Nimlang, “Environmental Fate of Toxic Volatile Organics from Oil Spills in the Niger Delta Region, Nigeria”, Int. J. Environ. Eng. Educ., vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 89-101, Dec. 2021.
Research Article