• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2020, Volume: 13, Issue: 31, Pages: 3141-3149

Original Article

The effect of minute chronic release of hydrocarbon on soils of communities in proximity to oil fields

Received Date:26 June 2020, Accepted Date:30 July 2020, Published Date:27 August 2020


Objective: The study documents the effects of hydrocarbon exploitation (without major oil spills) on soils of a rural community, 5 Km from an E &P(exploration & production) site. Method/Statistical analysis: By 3 composite drill cuttings, 6 agricultural soil samples obtained from Oben oil field or oil mining lease 4 (OML 4) and Oben village, Nigeria were microbiologically examined. Water and crude oil samples were subjected to physical, chemical, and microbiological examinations. Pearson and Rosenberg model (1978) was used to describe changes in species richness and abundance from 2018– 2008. The 2008 environmental impact assessment report (EIA) was the environmental baseline. Finding: Significant changes in microbe diversity and population was noticed from 2008 to 2018 although no oil spills occurred. Total heterotrophic bacterial count (TBC) revealed greater diversity in 2008 than in 2018. The average TBC for soil samples from rural community and E&P site were 7.00.30 x 106 cfu/g, and 2.23 0.15102 cfu/g, respectively, in contrast to 6.60 x 10 9 cfu/g in 2008. Percentages of hydrocarbon utilizing microbes increased; indicative of a more favorable environment. Chi-square test (chi-square critical value = 9.49 & p-value= 0.05) used to compare observed population data with the expected; showed changes were not random chance but due to E &P activities. The prevailing regulatory approach was incapable of capturing fundamental issues of contemporary continuous, routine release of contaminants. Need to understand the subtle and pernicious effect of E&P operations on neighboring communities. Environmental laws should be reexamined. Applications: Microbes can be used to monitor minute, chronic release of hydrocarbon, inexpensively. They are “markers” in environmental changes even before major pollution, contamination, spillage or devastation occurs.

Keywords: Acute contaminants on soils; contamination in nearby communities; oil field’s contaminants; contamination by proximity; chronic pollutants


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© 2020 Onwuachiiheagwara & Iheagwara.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Published By Indian Society for Education and Environment (iSee).


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