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 Abstract

This study is on oil spillage and its environmental effects. The major objective of the study is to ascertain the effect of oil spillage in the environment. The total population for the study is 200 selected residents in Niger Delta region. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made farmers, youths, civil servants and married were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the study

The high concentration of oil in accidental spills represents a serious environmental threat, until the oil is diluted and/or degraded. Low temperature, ice and lack of infrastructure will generally make the impact of oil spills in the Arctic longer lasting than at lower latitudes. The spreading, fate and impact of oil spilled in different habitats differ, with the marine spill having the potential to impact large areas and resources far away from the spill site, while terrestrial spill are generally confined to limited areas. Oil is toxic to almost all organisms. The toxic effect depends on the composition and concentration of the oil, and the sensitivity of the species affected. A species may have a high individual sensitivity and low population sensitivity, if individuals are evenly and/or widely distributed and have a high reproductive capacity. This is the case for many species at lower trophic levels. Population impacts are therefore more likely at the higher trophic levels, where many species occur in significant concentrations and have a lower reproduction rate. Due to the diversity of oil types, habitats and the importance of weather conditions for the fate of the oil, impact predictions can only be in general terms. However, from toxicological tests and impact studies after oil spill events, a body of general knowledge exists. This information can be used to assess the potential impact of oil spills in different environments, as well as minimizing potential impacts through planning of activities to avoid the most sensitive areas and periods and planning of oil spill cleanup. The relevant knowledge for dealing with environmental impacts of oil spills in Niger Delta consists of general knowledge on the fate in different habitats, effects of oil on different animal groups (especially in the Arctic), and area (site) specific information from Niger Delta on the dynamics of ecosystems and populations likely to be impacted from an oil spill. Although there still are a number of general information gaps for oil spills in the Arctic, research especially in Niger Delta region have provided important information of relevance to Niger Delta conditions. However in order to fully apply this knowledge area-specific information from Niger Delta on sensitive areas and on population dynamics is needed. Some part of this information can be gathered from marine areas of hydrocarbon interest at this stage of hydrocarbon exploration, while information from the terrestrial environment generally will benefit from a more targeted approach, when explorative oil drilling sites on land have been planned.

Oil spilling is a concern issue to the habitats especially in the Niger Delta region. On this background the researcher wants to investigate the oil spillage and its environmental effects.

1.2      STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

When an oil spill occurs, many elements of the environment may be affected. Depending on the magnitude of the spill and its location, the effects can vary, ranging from minimal to serious ones. For instance, oil spills can have a major impact on the temporary animal and fish loss of habitat. Heavy oils may affect several organism functions like respiration, feeding, and thermo-regulation. At the same time, the entire ecosystem can change temporarily because of the chemical components and elements of the spilled oil that are toxic to the environment. Usually, the oil spills occurring in a water environment (e.g., ocean or seas, or leaks from rigs ending up in water) are rapidly degraded as compared to oil spills on land or in the subsurface environment. However, on this note the researcher wants to investigate the oil spillage and its environmental effects

1.3      OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The objectives of the study are;

1.   To ascertain the effect of oil spillage in the environment

2.   To ascertain the level of damage in the environment

3.   To find out how toxic is the oil that effect the environment

4.   To ascertain the relationship between oil spillage and the well being the habitats

1.4      RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher; 

H0: there is no effect of oil spillage in the environment

H1: there is effect of oil spillage in the environment

H02: there is no relationship between oil spillage and the well being the habitats

H2: there is relationship between oil spillage and the well being the habitats

1.5      SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study is very significant to students, general public especially to Niger Delta region. Oil spillage is very hazardous to living organism which demands for urgent solutions for the well living of the habitats. This study will find out the causes of oil spillage, the effect in the environment and the prevention measures. The study will serve as a reference to other researchers that will embark on this topic.

1.6      SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers oil spillage and its environmental effects. The study will be limited the Niger Delta region. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

 a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study     

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities. 

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS  

 OIL SPILLAGE: An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially the marine ecosystem, due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term is usually given to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters, but spills may also occur on land. 

ENVIRONMENT: Environment is everything that is around us. It can be living or non-living things. It includes physical, chemical and other natural forces. Living things live in their environment. They constantly interact with it and adapt themselves to conditions in their environment.

ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD: An environmental hazard is a substance, a state or an event which has the potential to threaten the surrounding natural environment / or adversely affect people's health, including pollution and natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION: Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution.

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study  


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