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A Global Environmental Concern


The impact of gas flaring is of local and global concern. Gas flaring is one of the most challenging energy and environmental problems facing the world today whether on regionally or globally. According to Fawole et al., (2016 It is a multi-billion dollar waste a local environmental catastrophe and of a global environmental problem which has persisted for decades.

Petroleum which is pivotal to rapid economic growth and advance in technology enjoyed in today world which has been responsible for a large extent for upsetting environmental damage which occurred in some part of the world including Niger Delta area of Nigeria (Nwaugo et at., 2005).

Gas flaring occurs due to the combustion of gas, which is mostly used across the industrial regions, more specifically in the chemical plants, petroleum refineries as well as in the natural gas processing area. According to Fawole et al., (2016), gas flaring in the industrial regions arises due to the burning of flammable gas and it is released during the unplanned and overpressure plant equipment

More specifically, environmental pollution has occurred due to the gas flaring, which in turn affects the biodiversity of the region. In addition, the negative effect of gas flaring affects the flora and fauna of the ecological structure


Background of the research

Otene, Murray &Enongene (2016), state that gas flaring in Niger Delta occurs due to the leakages of crude oil and the chemical combustion during the production processes

The implication of the impact of gas flaring on human health which is being related to exposure of hazardous air pollutant which is emitted during the process of incomplete combustion of flare gas

However, exposure to the pollutant is associated with a variety of adverse health impact. E.g. cancer, lung damage, and skin problem which has been reported (Oghifo, 2011).

Nature of the problem

The nature of the gas flaring of Niger Delta was consisting of different gases and the composition of it was associated with oil gas production and natural gas. Gas flaring is the process of whereby natural gas which is associated with crude oil during the production of crude oil is been burnt.(Orimooghunie, 2010)

Furthermore, the flaring process which contains combustible ingredients such as hydrocarbons and the wastages of gases from the production processes of the industry. More specifically, the Niger Delta gas flare contained gases such as natural gas, butane, ethylene, butadiene, propane etc. After combustion, the gaseous hydrocarbons had transformed into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water after the reaction with atmospheric oxygen. Rest of the products, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and hydrogen had emitted after the combustion. Fawole, Cain &Mackenzie (2017) opined that during a gas flare, some of the toxic particles such as poly aromatic hydrocarbons cannot be diffused and hence, it affects the environment and the health of the human being negatively. However, it can be said that gas flaring is the major source of climatic change and greenhouse gas. By inhaling the gas, the living being would suffer from a serious ailment. Therefore, it can be said that the resultant of Niger Delta gas flaring was devastating and it had a multi-faced effect on the region. The residents of the region had been suffering from air pollution as well as from the degradation of oil and natural gas exploitation.

Aims and objectives

The fundamental aim of the dissertation is to examine awareness of health effect gas flaring on the human and how it affects the health status of the residents of the region. In order to find out the consequences, the researcher developed a set of research objectives, which are needed to be addressed for getting the result of gas flaring impact on human health.

The objectives of the research can be written in the following: Objectives of the research are:

Identify the products of gas flaring with a focus on hazardous properties on human health

Critically review the literature related exploration of awareness of the impact gas flaring t of gas flaring on human health. in Niger Delta

Critically investigate awareness of gas flaring impact on human health in Niger Delta

Suggest recommendations for raising the awareness of gas flaring

Therefore, the primary aim of the research paper is to identify, understand and providing of required solutions for raising awareness of the consequences gas flaring on the human health of the region apart from discussing the reason of gas flare.

Flaring is a major concern in the petroleum-producing area, where there exists an insufficient infrastructure to utilise the produced natural gas. Furthermore, it serves as a way of disposing of the gas produced in the Niger delta area. However, this process creates a negative impact on the people and environment which needs to be analysed further (Orimooghunie, 2010)

Flares losses are the greatest misfortune in numerous enterprises, where for example, oil and gas generation, processing plants, synthetic plants, the coal industry and landfills. Waste or misfortunes in the flare incorporate fuel gases, steam, nitrogen, and petroleum gas (Stohl et al, 2013). The flaring framework can be introduced in numerous areas, for instance, production facilities on land and offshore platforms, in port offices and vehicle ship, in distribution lines and tank farms where there are activities related to flare stake which needs to be evaluated further in order to analyse the impacts of gas flare.

Elide et al. (2016) stated that, flaring gas is one of the most troublesome natural and energy issues on the planet. An unnatural weather change is one of its fundamental issues in the recent years for which it is off high concern among the policy makers across the globe. This issue can be brought about by expanded discharges of CH4, CO2 and other ozone-depleting substances into the air. Furthermore, the exhaust composition is fundamentally the same as the petroleum gas creation and a cleaner wellspring of vitality than other business non-renewable energy sources.

According to Anomohanran (2012), the World Bank considers that the yearly measure of flaring and related gaseous petrol release is around 110 billion cubic meters in Africa, which is adequate to cover the total yearly flammable gas utilisation of France and Germany. Except for South Africa, flaring in Africa can create 200 terawatt-long periods of power, about half of Africa's flow power utilization, more than twofold that of sub-Saharan Africa.

Gas flaring is a typical practice in oil generation around the globe. For instance, Libya creates about 21% of flammable gas, while Saudi Arabia, Canada and Algeria utilise 20%, 8% and 5%, individually. This indicates that the country Nigeria is suspected to have most terrible rate of backsides on the planet where, in 2002, Nigeria consumed about 76% of gaseous petrol (Anomohanran, 2012).

Impact of gas flaringob economic public health

According to Kadafa (2012), Flare gases disturbing effects on biodiversity, air quality and general wellbeing. It is additionally an enormous financial waste. Flares and gas discharges make a noteworthy commitment to ozone-depleting substance outflows, which have serious unfavourable impacts around the world. Air contamination influences air quality and causes perpetual respiratory maladies, bronchitis, asthma, regenerative issues, resistant framework brokenness and different genuine wellbeing dangers that can prompt the demise.

The impacts of the APG flare are firmly identified with the biology of the Niger Delta district. Gas flares are inconvenient to the development, untamed life and environmental parity of Niger Delta vegetation. Notwithstanding the negative consequences for nature and general wellbeing, the consuming of gas is a monetary waste and will cause you to lose national and corporate incomes. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) gauges that, flares in Nigeria will bring about income misfortunes of more than $ 2 billion per year. APG flare that surpasses standard security levels devastatingly affect general wellbeing, environment and the economy.

There are several impacts of gas flares, where the effects are the most normally watched and restorative estimates around the world. The impacts are progressively predominant in creating nations, for example, Libya, Nigeria and Angola, however, advances that encourage this vitality use have as of late started. For instance, gas flaring influence nature, particularly plant development and untamed life. Ismail and Umukoro (2012) analysed the impacts of flare on encompassing plants in southeastern Nigeria and reasoned that, further examinations are expected to decide their effect on the yield of plants developed in the area. The impacts of gas flaring can spread suspiciously over the 110-meter-long stack, aside from on account of concealment of the blossoming of plants on brief days. The soil in the examination territory is quickly losing fruitfulness and limit with regards to feasible agribusiness because of fermentation by different poisons related to the gas created in the region. Burning of related gas represents a genuine risk to the regular habitat at provincial, territorial and worldwide levels. At the community level, flaring gas hinders to the vegetation of the host network. At a provincial level, gas flaring contributes fundamentally to ecological debasement. The grouping of corrosive downpour is higher in the Niger Delta and diminishes essentially as you move away from that area. Gas flare produces traps, which choose the top of the structure, and the plant leaves in the territory contaminate the ground, yet in addition the channel when it downpours. The corrosive downpour has changed the characteristic undergrowth and ecological nature of the Niger Delta (Jike, 2004).

As per the above chart, it clearly indicates that, the gas flared by the Nigerian oil manufacturing and producing firms have been started to decrease in the current years as compared to the previous years. Based on the trend, it can be anticipated that, the rate of gas flaring will be declined more sharply in the future which is one of the major contributing factors in managing environmental sustainability and enhancing global footprint.

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Economic consideration which underpins gas flaring

Nigeria, for example, loses around $2.5 billion per year in flaring gas. If this cash is halted, it very well may be put resources into different parts of the economy. The flaring itself can be utilised to start the fix of harmed or to give offices, for example, emergency clinic roads or self-teaches. From another perspective, flare by implication kept remote financial specialists from putting resources into this nation. Indeed, they will, in general, spend more on the supply and upkeep of private and mechanical power plants. Because of the idea of intensity supply in Nigeria, nearby agents, skilled workers and even entrepreneurs will, in general, spend more on electric generation. The gas squandered during flaring can be utilised to produce power (Ite and Ibok, 2013).

A review published by Osuoha and Fakutiju, (2017) discusses the Gas flaring in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: Cost, ecological and human health implications. In spite of the fact that the flaring of gas in Nigeria has been unlawful since January 1984, when the Nigerian national government set the flaring law as the main date in 1979, the oil organization lamentably pays a fine for some. The law saw certain conditions for the instalment of specific exceptions or Fines set at $ 0.003 per million cubic feet in 1984 and $ 3.50 per 1,000 feet in 2008. Expanded to Standard Dice Low-level discipline is the fundamental driver of the ceaseless copying of flare gas. For the discipline cannot legitimize a major venture to stop the copying in exceptionally little amounts. The decrease is monetarily feasible.

According to Anejionu, Ahiarammunnah and Nri-ezedi (2015), Tax incentives can essentially diminish ventilation and flares which is beneficial for the social communities of Nigeria where the policy makers take initiative to maintain environmental sustainability. Incentives, for example, charges, taxes, sovereignties, and government partakes in PPAs can directly affect gas flaring. Gas generation and improvement of the gas market and system. Tax relief, however, it is typically just viable in the event that it is adequate for the complete estimation of oil creation.

Impact of gas flaring on human health

According to Weyant et al. (2016), gas flaring can ruin millions of lives and businesses worldwide. More specifically, gas flaring has increased the thermal radiation along with the flue gas dispersion arise due to the pollution of air after gas flaring. Since gas flaring has been added a large percentage of benzamine and pollutes the air, therefore, the probability of suffering from the respiratory system has been increased with the inhaling the air of the region. For instance, most of the local people were suffering from critical diseases, such as asthma as well as bronchitis.

In this context, Zhizhin, Elvidge & Baugh (2017) stated that, air pollution due to gas flaring has released approximately 250 harmful toxins such as benzopyrene, toluene, carbon disulphide, and carbon sulphide etc. apart from the releasing of sour gases. As per the report of the US Environmental Protection Agency, with the inhaling of these harmful gases, people may suffer from the disease of acute leukaemia along with the varieties of blood disorders in the human body. Furthermore, Elvidge et al., (2018) stated that the presence and the radioactivity of toxic chemicals may enhance the occurrence of Thyroid cancer. More specifically, the immune system of the local people of the gas flaring region has been degraded after the incident and the critical diseases like cancer, premature deaths, asthma, and respiratory problems have been increased with the passage of time.

According to Zhang et al.( 2015)., gas flaring increases the haematological parameters as well as affects the blood-forming cell capacity of the people due to the incomplete combustion releases of hazardous gas. This, in turn, leads to creating harmful diseases like leukaemia, anaemia and pancytopenia in the human body ( Zhang et al., 2015). Therefore, the risk of surviving of the local people would be increased drastically after gas flaring.

In this context, it can be stated that, gas flaring has an adverse effect on the economy of the nation. More specifically, after the incident, the oil manufacturing and the production firms would suffer from financial loss due to the minimisation of revenue earnings. It would affect the GDP of the country, which in turn affects the standard of living as well as the GDP per capita of the country (Elvidge et al., 2016). In a nutshell, it can be inferred that, the economic position of the country across the international market would be declined. On the other hand, gas flaring of Niger Delta has affected the country in its export and hence, the inflow of foreign direct investment with the help of this source would be declined.In this context, it can be mentioned that, Niger Delta is one of the oil-rich regions of the country and due to the continuous oil exploitation since the year 1950, high percentage of oil spilt off and and thus it helps in the fuel conflicts across the region (Soltanieh et al., 2016). Nigeria is at the 7th position in the global gas flaring.

In this context, it can be mentioned that, Niger Delta is one of the oil-rich regions of the country and due to the continuous oil exploitation since the year 1950, high percentage of oil spilt off and and thus it helps in the fuel conflicts across the region (Soltanieh et al., 2016). Nigeria is at the 7th position in the global gas flaring.

As per the report of World Bank, Nigeria ranks 6th position in the global market in terms of gas flaring position. Apart from the negative effect of gas flaring on the environment and the human health, it directly affects the economy in losing the money. For instance, gas flaring is considered as the burning of money and hence, the industrial sector of Nigeria had incurred the loss of $770 million in the year 2016 which means, it has adverse effects on the economy and society as a whole.

Regulatory and policy solution

According to Buzcu-Guven and Harriss (2012), it is currently perceived that, the nearness of flares can be managed alone, yet as a rule, laws with respect to natural protection and contamination appear to be progressively predominant. This viewpoint is significant from the perspective of the allure of gaseous petrol as a substitute for oil and other sustainable power sources. Furthermore, the utility of gas as a method for residential and mechanical vitality generation additionally underpins endeavours to utilise flammable gas.

Administrative strategy and the law are compelling approaches to decrease gas discharges. This methodology did not prevail in the Niger Delta in light of the fact that the mandate was not executed or the gas burn technique was not actualised. The Nigerian Federal Government has perceived that the utilisation of authoritative estimates is a compelling method for halting gas burns and has passed related laws, for example, the Petroleum Act of 1969 and the Oil and Gas Act No. 99 of 2004. Gas flaring in the Niger Delta was as yet across the board and there were no huge results. Many deadlines have been set for the execution of gas flares in Nigeria, however, have been broadened or released. As per the rule of cost-adequacy, controllers set objectives and necessities in explicit conditions, and this asymmetry of data between asset proprietors and controllers is the fundamental test of this methodology (Odumugbo, 2010). Notwithstanding enhancements in administrative practices, there are critical wasteful aspects. The circumstance in the Niger Delta is exacerbated by ridiculous and all-encompassing targets, regulating draws near and conflicting authorisation instruments.

Though the researcher is capable to successfully derive the negative consequences of gas flaring of Niger Delta in this research, the researcher did not analyse the role of government in dealing with the situation in a detailed manner, which is necessary to have clear knowledge about the roles and responsibility of the government in supporting the social communities and environment as a whole. Furthermore, the researcher has only mentioned that, the government of the country has been playing an active role to nullify the adverse consequences of gas flaring. However, the researcher failed to highlight the process and approaches, followed by the government for minimising the negative consequences of it across the regions. Therefore, other researchers, who will be going to choose this topic and will conduct further research and will get the scope to explore this segment in details that also, will provide a scope to improve further strategies to resolve the issue of flare stake.

In conclusion, it can be observed that, gas flaring has a devastating effect on the human body and the environment of the countries. Nigeria is at the top position in the ranking of gas flaring across the global market. Acid rain is one of the major reasons for gas flaring, which adversely affect the environment as well as social communities. On the other hand, if the residential of the country continuously inhale the impurities of the air, then they may suffer from serious ailments like asthma, bronchitis, cancer, leukaemia etc. Even, the victims can suffer from premature disease due to the severity of the incident. Apart from these, gas flaring also has adverse impacts on the economy of the country. However, the government of the countries need to take serious initiatives to prevent the consequences so that the percentage of occurrence of gas flaring across the countries starts to decline.


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Anomohanran, O., 2012. Determination of greenhouse gas emission resulting from gas flaring activities in Nigeria. Energy Policy, 45, pp.666-670.

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