American Journal of Environmental Protection. 2013, 1(4), 70-77DOI:
Abstract: Global flaring and venting of petroleum–associated gas is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and airborne contaminants that has proven difficult to mitigate over the years. In the petroleum industry, poor efficiency in the flare systems often result in incomplete combustion which produces a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and inorganic contaminants. Over the past fifty years, gas flaring and venting associated with petroleum exploration and production in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta has continue to generate complex consequences in terms of energy, human health, natural environment, socio–economic environment and sustainable development. In some oil–producing host communities, most flaring and ventingsystems are located in close proximity to residential areas and/or farmlands; and the resultant emissions potentially contribute to global warming as well as somelocal and/or regional adverse environmental impacts.There are emerging facts in an attempt to understand the effect of flaring and venting practices and the complex interactions of thermal pollution, organic and inorganic contaminants emission in the environment. This review discusses environmental contamination, adverse human health consequences, socio–economic problems, degradation of host communities and other associated impacts of flaring and venting of associated gas in the petroleum industry in the Niger Delta. Effective understanding of the overall impact of associated gas flaring and venting in the petroleum industry is important for effective management of the energy resources, environmental risk mitigation, implementation of good governanceand sustainable development.