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Cleanup and Restoration of 1000-ha of Oiled Mangroves, Bodo, Eastern Niger Delta, Nigeria

Authors:
  • E-Tech International Inc.
  • Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited
  • Independent researcher (MB-Water)

Abstract and Figures

A 1000 ha (2471 ac) area around the community of Bodo in Rivers State, Nigeria, was affected by two large pipeline spills in 2008 and numerous smaller discharges between 2009 and present, primarily related to oil theft, transport and indigenous refining. This paper describes the remediation of affected environments which represents the largest cleanup and restoration of a mangrove ecosystem due to oil-related damage ever undertaken and serves as a potential model for other areas of the Niger Delta similarly affected. Cleanup activities include: (1) raking / mixing of surface sediments to break up a thick algal mat and removal of heavily polluted dead mangrove debris while lesser-oiled (most common) debris is broken up and left in place to aid re-establishment of mangrove plants and animal life used as a food source by the Bodo Community; (2) pressure flushing using ambient water from adjacent channels; (3) compressed air with water from a barge-mounted system, (4) use of hard boom and sorbents around the work area to capture off-floating oil, and (5) manual collection of floating oil using sorbents and hand bailers, followed by transfer to a central collection point and disposal at a government approved facility. High-volume low-pressure flushing system proved effective in releasing much of the deeply penetrated oil without damaging the sedimentary structure of the mangrove platform. Innovative methods are continually being sought. After confirmation of cleanup requirements, former mangrove areas (~860 ha, 2125 ac) will be planted with mangrove seedlings to phytoremediate remaining oil. Close-out criteria are based upon visual assessment followed by chemical sampling to meet government approved risk-based site-specific target levels. Potential major impediments to the successful completion of this Project are community unrest, security issues and reoiling from illegal activities and pipeline operations.
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Abstract 688932 2020 International Oil Spill Conference
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Cleanup and Restoration of 1000-ha of Oiled Mangroves, Bodo, Eastern Niger Delta,
Nigeria
Erich R. Gundlach1, Andrew McArthur2, Ogonnaya Iroakasi3, Matthijs Bonte4,
Ferdinand D. Giadom5, Philip Shekwolo6 and Kabari Visigah3
1. Project Director, Bodo Mediation Initiative, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; E-Tech International, 470
Boulder Street, Boulder, CO, USA ErichEti@cs.com
2. Safety and Security Risk Consultant, Dorset, UK
3. Ogoni Restoration Project, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited,
Port Harcourt, Nigeria
4. Shell Global Solutions International B.V., Rijswijk, the Netherlands
5. Department of Geology, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
6. Geoscience Consultant, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
ABSTRACT
A 1000 ha (2471 ac) area around the community of Bodo in Rivers State, Nigeria, was
affected by two large pipeline spills in 2008 and numerous smaller discharges between 2009 and
present, primarily related to oil theft, transport and indigenous refining. This paper describes the
remediation of affected environments which represents the largest cleanup and restoration of a
mangrove ecosystem due to oil-related damage ever undertaken and serves as a potential model
for other areas of the Niger Delta similarly affected.
Cleanup activities include: (1) raking / mixing of surface sediments to break up a thick
algal mat and removal of heavily polluted dead mangrove debris while lesser-oiled (most
common) debris is broken up and left in place to aid re-establishment of mangrove plants and
animal life used as a food source by the Bodo Community; (2) pressure flushing using ambient
water from adjacent channels; (3) compressed air with water from a barge-mounted system, (4)
use of hard boom and sorbents around the work area to capture off-floating oil, and (5) manual
collection of floating oil using sorbents and hand bailers, followed by transfer to a central
collection point and disposal at a government approved facility. High-volume low-pressure
flushing system proved effective in releasing much of the deeply penetrated oil without
damaging the sedimentary structure of the mangrove platform. Innovative methods are
continually being sought. After confirmation of cleanup requirements, former mangrove areas
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(~860 ha, 2125 ac) will be planted with mangrove seedlings to phytoremediate remaining oil.
Close-out criteria are based upon visual assessment followed by chemical sampling to meet
government approved risk-based site-specific target levels. Potential major impediments to the
successful completion of this Project are community unrest, security issues and reoiling from
illegal activities and pipeline operations.
INTRODUCTION
Objectives
The objectives of this paper are to provide an update on the ongoing cleanup and
restoration of a former mangrove-dominated area in the Niger River delta that was affected by
oil spills in 2008 and other spills continuing on a daily basis to present. Success is not
guaranteed. Hopefully, lessons learned in this case may assist the remediation of similar areas
found throughout the Niger River delta.
Geographic Setting and Context
The cleanup area is located in the eastern Niger Delta. The nearest settlement is the
community of Bodo with approximately 75,000 inhabitants located along the northeastern
shoreline of the impacted area. Bodo is located in Gokana Local Government Area in Rivers
State, Nigeria, and is part of Ogoniland (Figure 1).
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.
Figure 1. Location of the Bodo cleanup area in the eastern Niger Delta.
Ogoniland has unfortunately been an area of civil strife and hostility towards petroleum
producing companies (e.g. Boele et al., 2001). A major study of oil operation sites in Ogoniland
by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, 2013) found numerous areas of high oil
contamination, including some sites in the Bodo area. The UNEP report focused primarily on
land-based sites, whereas this Project concerns contaminated intertidal areas and adjacent
shorelines. The recommendations of the UNEP report are currently in process of
implementation by HYPREP (https://hyprep.gov.ng/), a government agency created specifically
for this purpose.
Two oil spills, attributed to pipeline defects, occurred south of Bodo town in 2008 and
affected an area of ~1000 ha (2471 ac) of intertidal habitats extending a linear distance of 10 x
5.2 km (6.3 x 3.2 mi). The affected area is dominated (98%) by mangrove habitat and numerous
mud-lined channels. The remaining 2% consists of tidal flats, muddy sand shorelines and fish
ponds. The two spills led to the rapid loss of many of the mangroves within the affected area.
Additionally, there are a minimum of 43 shoreside indigenous illegal refineries (18 ha; 44 ac)
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not related to the 2008 oil spills but are included as part of the cleanup.
Bodo residents historically use these waters and mangrove areas for food gathering (fish,
shrimp, crabs and snails) as well as for wood cutting. These activities were either stopped or
greatly reduced by the two oil spills in 2008. Tides are diurnal (twice daily) with a range from
1.4-2.2 m (4.6-7.3 ft). Currents are strong in the main channels (up to 1.6 kn (3 km/h) and
salinities roughly range from 18 to 24 ppt (Gundlach, 2018).
Since the 2008 spills, there have been repeated spills in the area primarily caused by
illegal activities involving the tapping of transiting 24- and 28-inch crude oil transport pipelines,
extraction of crude oil using illegally installed valves and hoses to small and large vessels,
transport to shore-based artisanal refineries, refining in steel drums heated by crude-oil fire pits,
and then transport of the refined product to Bodo and other drop off locations on the mainland
(Gundlach, 2018). As background, Maclean and Wordu (2019) provide the following definition:
“Artisanal refining is a concept used to refer to the use of primitive and illegal process in which
crude oil is boiled and the resultant fumes are collected, cooled and condensed in tanks to be
used locally for lighting, energy or transport.
During all phases of the illegal refining process, spillage is likely. Ground surveys,
satellite imagery, and aerial overflights indicate that oil is continuously present in the waters
around Bodo and neighboring communities. A total of 52 spill events were recorded in this
same area between 2008 and May 2019 by NOSDRA (National Oil Spill Detection & Response
Agency), the Nigerian federal agency tasked with compilation of spill-related data and incident
assessment. Non-pipeline events such as discharges from oil-filled boats and illegal refining are
not recorded.
In 2015, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd. (SPDC) agreed to
remunerate affected Bodo citizens and to remediate 1000 ha of damaged habitat. A negotiated
process, organized by the Bodo Mediation Initiative (BMI) sponsored by the Dutch Embassy in
Nigeria, cleared the way for cleanup acceptance by the community.
In preparation for field activities, SCAT (Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique)
surveys were undertaken in July and August 2015. Cleanup was scheduled to begin in
September 2015 but local hostile actions postponed startup until September 2017.
This paper summarizes cleanup activities undertaken in 2017 and 2018 (designated as
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Phase 1) and Phase 2 operations beginning in October 2019 and scheduled to continue for two
years. Because these operations are specific to mangrove habitats, we include background
information related to site characteristics.
Mangrove Remediation Background
Mangroves are among the most sensitive habitats to oiling (e.g Gundlach and Hayes,
1978) because of resident living plants and associated biota, mud-dominated conditions (making
oil clean up and work conditions difficult) and are commonly depositional conditions enabling
oil to settle and accumulate.
Guidelines for oil spills in mangroves focus on preventing oil from reaching these
sensitive plant areas. When oil does enter, natural recovery is the preferred method to prevent
further damage. Manual oil removal / cleaning, sediment reworking / tilling are considered ‘not
applicable’ response methods in mangroves, whereas deluge flooding at low pressure is
considered applicable but with some adverse impacts (NOAA, 2014).
Unfortunately, vast areas of the Niger Delta of former mangroves are completely or
nearly completely dead and retain highly contaminated base sediments. In the 11-year period
between 2008 and 2019, natural mangrove recovery in the Bodo area has been very limited,
attributable to high levels of oil contamination from the initial and continuing spills and the lack
of adjacent seed stock/propagules.
Without intervention, we estimate that natural recovery could take 60 years (after
stoppage of the continual oil spills) based on an estimated 40 years for mangrove propagules
(seed pods) to take root and cover damaged areas and then around 20 years to grow to maturity.
Therefore, this remediation program is focused on reducing the level of oil contamination
sufficient to protect human health, sustain living mangrove plants and then to replant the
damaged area. Via active planting, the time required for habitat recovery can be substantially
shortened and the plants will serve to phytoremediate remaining hydrocarbons (e.g. Moreira et
al., 2011).
METHODS
Area to be Remediated
The area designated for remediation was determined from satellite imagery and detailed
aerial mosaics in natural color and false-color red (IR) from 2013, supported by ground surveys
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in 2013, 2015 and 2017. The analysis of imagery indicated areas of mangrove loss by
comparing 2006/2007 imagery to images from 2009 and later (Gundlach, 2018). Ground
surveys confirmed impacted mangroves with little evidence of recovery and delineated heavily
contaminated shorelines within the area of spill influence. Within the area, 1000 ha damaged by
the 2008 spills and utilized by the Bodo community were identified to be remediated.
After identifying the spill-affected area described above, the level of contamination
within that area was determined by SCAT surveys. The SCAT team is comprised of
representatives of the Bodo Community, Nigerian state and federal agencies, SPDC, BMI and
non-governmental organizations. As site conditions are dominated by water-saturated, soft mud
and mangrove rooted sediments (Chikoko mud), the SCAT standard visual pit (or trench) and oil
layer analysis could not be used. Instead, oil level was determined by digging a pit 25-40 cm
(10-16 in) deep, allowing water to seep into the pit over an approximate 5-minute time span, and
then estimating the percent cover of oil (2 categories: sheen or black / brown oil) on the surface
water in the pit. Additional field measurements were taken of surface oiling, sediment type by
depth, percent cover by living mangroves and nipa palm (an invasive species), and the presence
of crabs, periwinkles (snails) and shrimp. Over 1000 SCAT survey sites were completed during
the period of 2015 and 2017/2018. All data are stored in a relational database and are able to be
queried and plotted using QGIS software. See also Iroakasi et al (2020, this Conference).
Chemical Sampling
An extensive chemical sampling program was undertaken in 2015 and 2017 to determine
levels of contamination and potentially to evaluate cleanup effectiveness. Composite samples
were taken from the surface (0-5 cm) and subsurface (15-25 cm) (0-2 in, 6-10 in) from five pits
located at each SCAT site. Samples were shipped to the United Kingdom for analysis. Results
reported here are of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), a sum of total aliphatics (C5-44) and
aromatics (C5-44). Over 600 samples were analyzed (Bonte et al., 2019).
Depth of Oiling
SCAT surveys visually reviewed the top 25- 40 cm (10-16 in) of the designated area of
remediation. To obtain deeper samples, a vibracoring program obtained 30 cores along six
transects extending to a maximum depth of 3.6 m (12 ft). Chemical samples were taken for
analysis at cm depths of 0-5, 20-25, 50, 100, 150, 200, etc., and at the end of core.
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Mangrove Test Planting
In order to gauge the potential for mangrove survival and sustainable growth in the area
to be remediated, a total of 347 red mangrove seedlings were planted at seven sites and
monitored again 6, 12 and 24 months after planting. Chemical samples were taken at the time of
planting and after two years. Monitoring included measurements of plant mortality, height, stem
diameter, leaf number and condition, prop root development and other factors at ten plants
within each site.
Risk-Based Health Assessment and NEBA Review
The Nigerian regulatory structure regarding cleanup endpoints in the oil and gas industry
supports the application of a risk-based tiered approach for the protection of human health and
the environment or acceptance of a single value of 5000 mg/kg TPH (referred to as the Tier 1
intervention value; EGASPIN, 2018). BMI and SPDC, with the participation of the BMI
technical working group, completed a combined detailed human health risk assessment
(including both cancer and non-cancer health impacts) resulting in development of Site-Specific
Target Levels (SSTLs) and includes the application of a Net Environmental Benefit Analysis
(NEBA) related to environmental factors including aquatic organisms, mangrove plants, and
human health (Gundlach et al, 2019). The proposed Tier 2 levels were approved by Nigerian
regulatory authorities and serve as the basis for close-out criteria discussed under results.
Cleanup Phases
This report covers two phases of remediation in the area. Phase 1 activities focused on
the recovery of ‘free-floating oil’ defined as surface oil and including oil released from
sediments when agitated. These actions occurred between September 2017 and August 2018.
Phase 2 began on 1 October 2019 and will continue for two years. Mangrove planting and
monitoring will extend further. Phase 2 additionally includes cleanup of indigenous refineries,
asphalt and tar removal, and potentially on-site sediment treatment / washing.
Cleanup Guidelines
1. Treat and properly dispose of all oil and oil-contaminated material in conformance with
Nigerian regulatory requirements and good international practice.
2. Employ extensive local participation to provide employment to ensure a boost to the local
economy and increase community support and satisfaction in the work being performed.
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Altogether, approximately 1000 people are participating in Phase 2 activities in 2020
including 800 local workers, supervisors, management personnel, boat drivers, food caterers,
military escorts, gun-boat personnel, site security agents, waste haulers, mangrove planters
and site monitors. A new staff of 800 Bodo workers will be trained to IMO certification
levels and placed in service every six months.
3. Use local v-shaped boats (length: 6-8 m, 20 to 25 ft). Although not specifically suited to
conducting oil spill operations in shallow creeks, local boats are utilized to provide an
economic lift to the community and increase community participation. The advantage is that
the boat operators are familiar with the operating conditions and narrow creeks of the area.
4. Engage international cleanup specialists. Nigerian contractors have the participation of an
international remediation company and individuals placed on-site to provide guidance to
operations.
5. Ensure all additives to aid remediation are on the Nigerian government list of approved
agents for oil spills and undergo a demonstration, review and approval by the Bodo
Community and the BMI Directorate overseeing the cleanup.
6. Avoid causing more harm than good. The extensive disruption of sediments within former
mangrove areas may cause the area to be unsuitable for sustaining mangrove seedlings. The
primary concern is that excessive flushing may liquify base sediments, thereby destroying
the present root structure and inhibiting the repopulation of the area by mangroves.
Similarly, an excessive use of heavy equipment may result in sediment compaction, also
restricting future mangrove growth. During all phases, direct flushing around the base of
living mangroves is avoided.
7. Keep broken mangrove plant remains (sticks) in place as they provide habitat for snails and
crabs and inhibit sediment loss. Heavily caked prop-roots remains may be broken and / or
removed if they inhibit cleanup of underlying sediments or pose a continued threat of oiling.
8. Avoid large-scale sediment removal and trenching.
9. Collect and appropriately store liquid wastes, asphalt, tar, plastics and other cleanup
materials in a central facility for subsequent removal to a government approved treatment
facility. Heavily contaminated sediments not able to be flushed sufficient to meet cleanup
requirements are applicable for onsite treatment options.
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10. Allow natural recovery as a viable option where plant regrowth and low oiling conditions are
present.
11. Plant mangrove seedlings as part of the remediation process of hydrocarbon degradation and
habitat restoration.
12. Remove nipa palm. The nipa palm (Nypa fructicans) is native to the Indo-Pacific and has
been taking over mangrove habitats, particularly where natural mangroves are killed off or
degraded. In the Bodo remediation area, nipa will be pulled out or cut to assist restoration of
the indigenous mangrove habitat.
RESULTS
Distribution of Oil
SCAT observations and chemical sampling found that oil contamination was patchy,
varying greatly even when measured in close proximity. Observations of oil coverage on the
surface water of 1062 pits 25-40 cm (10-16 in) deep are shown in Figure 2. The coring program
found little to no oil substantial oil at depths below 50 cm (20 in) in the 30 cores taken (Iroakasi
et al., 2020).
Figure 2. Observations from 2015 to 2018 SCAT surveys of percent oil cover in 1062
pits showing lower values to the south and high but variable levels elsewhere. Sites of the two
major spills of 2008 are indicated by stars. BO-BRO = black and brown oil.
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Results of chemical sampling undertaken 2015 and 2017 are shown in Table 1 referring
to site treatment undertaken during Phase 1 operations. (Note: Little et al (2018) describe results
from 2015.) The median TPH value of surface samples is higher (38,000 55,000 mg/kg) than
subsurface levels (690 -12,250 mg/kg), likely due to the continuing influx of new oiling and the
limited downward migration of surface oil due to the relatively cohesive clay substrate having a
high level of water saturation.
Table 1. TPH in mg/kg for sediments taken 0-5 cm depth (0-2 in, Ground Surface) and
20-25 cm (8-10 in, Subsurface). Treatment refers to Phase 1 cleanup, where samples were taken
in areas not treated, before treatment, during treatment and post treatment. Values indicated in
bold with ‘*” indicate that median values are significantly different than the Pre-Treatment value
(from Bonte et al., 2019).
The relation between the visual estimate of pit oiling and values derived from chemical
analysis was not strong using methods applied in Phase 1. At that time, a visual estimate from a
single center-point pit was compared to a composite sample of five pits taken around the center
point (Bonte et al., 2019). Sampling in Phase 2 uses an average of visual observations from the
same three pits from which a composited sample is derived. To date (March 2020), Phase 2
chemical results from all sites (20 in total) having 25% pit oiling show TPH values < 25,000
mg/kg. The importance of SCAT pit oiling observations referenced to values obtained by
chemical sampling is discussed under Close-Out Criteria later in this paper.
Cleanup Activities
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Cleanup actions include the following based on location of the oil:
Muddy Creeks, Former Mangrove Areas, Tidal Flats and Shorelines
1. Breakup of surface algae and algal mat on the mangrove platform and tidal flats. An algal
mat, sometimes mixed with tar (Figure 3), has become prevalent in many areas as natural
grazers (e.g. snails) were killed off by oiling. The presence of the mat inhibits aeration and
oil degradation of the underlying sediments. Breakup and mixing of the surface aids
recovery. Where tar is present, it is removed. Figure 4 shows raking actions releasing oil
from surface sediments. Hand tilling resulting in the turn-over of surface sediments is also
used.
Figure 3. A. Surface algal mat mixed with tar on former mangrove platform. The mat will
be broken up and tar removed. Photo by E. Gundlach.
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Figure 4. Aerial view of cleanup workers agitating surface sediments using rakes and
shovels releasing oil in the top ~15-20 cm (6 -8 in). The SCAT team is present in white along
the upper shore. Photo by N. Story.
2. Flushing of mud-dominated channels and flats, extending from the channel onto the mangrove
platform until heavy oiling ceases. The primary process of removing oil from the sediments is
by intensive pressure flushing. Three flushing methods are described below:
a. Use of 3-inch hoses and an extended 1-inch nozzle (7.6 cm hose, 2.5 cm nozzle) using
low-to-moderate pressure levels. The most common method uses a pump positioned on
an adjacent boat connected to a hose for shoreline operations. Released oil is contained
by at least two booms in 2020. Oil is collected using sorbents, by hand using a bailer
and transferring captured oil to a plastic container for transport, or mechanically using
disk and brush skimmers. The process is indicated in Figure 5. Liquid oil is placed into
drums and transported to a holding tank on the mainland for government approved
disposal.
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Figure 5. A. Flushing of sediments along channel with released oil on water. Insert
show oil collection using a hand bailer. The tanks present are not used for this flushing
method. B. Boom in place and pump on boat generates the needed water pressure.
Photos by SPDC.
b. High-pressure washer / hand wands. This method requires the transport of large holding
tanks to the work area prior to operations, slowing down progress. The small volume of
water injected from each system was not efficient at large scale oil removal but was good
at surface agitation. Photographs of this operation are shown in Figure 6. The limited
effectiveness of the process negates its widespread use in Phase 2 operations.
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Figure 6. High-pressure washer flush with booms in place. Tanks along the shoreline
are necessary for operations. Photos by E. Gundlach.
c. Development of a 4-pronged pumping platform. Both flushing systems described above
result in pressure from topside downwards as the nozzle is placed into the contaminated
sediments. This may force some oil deeper into the sediments and results in sediment
liquification. Using a 4-pronged entry system instead of a single nozzle results in lower
pressures and likely releases more oil up to the surface as the prongs are lowered to
depths of 30-60 cm (1-2 ft), depending on the stability of the base sediments. This
system is shown in Figure 7.
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Figure 7. A. 4-prong flushing system showing water jets from each nozzle.
B. System in sediments approximately 30 cm (1 ft) deep with oil being released. Photos
by E. Gundlach.
d. Development of air-sparging system with water influx.
Use of a barge-mounted air compressor to force air mixed with water into a multi-head
system (Figure 8) is showing potentially good results in March 2020, subject to further
review.
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Figure 8. Barge with compressors (top) leading to a multi-head piping system using
forced air and water to release subsurface oil (bottom). Photos by E. Gundlach (top) and
N. Story (bottom).
Asphalt / Tar Removal
Highly weathered oil in the form of asphalt and tar remains along shoreline banks and in
illegal refining areas. Some highly viscous oil, waste products from illegal refining, is located in
pits. Examples are shown in Figure 9. Material will be excavated primarily by hand and
transported in bags to a centralized storage site for government-approved disposal.
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Figure 9. Upper panels: Shoreline and banks fronting an active refinery site. Lower
panels: Asphalt and tar pit at abandoned refinery site. Photos by SPDC and E. Gundlach.
Potential On-Site Treatment
There are a number of locations having oil-saturated sands for which flushing has proved
ineffective at removal of oil to the required level. These sites include sandy areas near a road
under construction adjacent to the SPDC pipeline corridor and pertains to artisanal refinery sites
as well. For these sites, sediments may require on-site treatment. This would be advantageous
as off-site transport is not required and excavated areas would be infilled using the same
sediments. To date (March 2020), on-site contractors have not provided a method statement for
treatment in these cases. Site characteristics are illustrated in Figure 10.
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Figure 10. Examples of oil-soaked sands that may be excavated, treated onsite and then
placed back again to avoid large-scale sediment removal and transport. Photos by E.
Gundlach.
Nipa palm removal
The invasive nipa palm originated in the Indo-Pacific region and was brought to Nigeria
in the early 1900s (Isichei and Akin-Fajiye, 2013). The nipa palm plant structure reduces the
habitat available for fishery nursery and for mangrove associated biota. UNIDO (2007)
describes it as a negative impact on the mangrove system … leading to a loss of biodiversity
and ecosystem function”. It is more difficult for food gatherers to collect in a nipa forest as
compared to mangroves. From aerial and ground surveys, nipa palm is encroaching into the
remediation area from the south where it is now the dominant species in many localities.
Comparing nipa seedlings to mangrove seedlings in areas where both are present indicates that
mangrove re-settlement is being out-competed by the numerous seed pods of the nipa (Figure
11). Cleanup operations are removing nipa seedlings and cutting larger plants to enable
mangrove seedlings to successfully reach maturity. We recognize, however, that this will not
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stop the encroachment of nipa into this area and that nipa, like mangrove plants, provides a
mechanism for the continued breakdown of residual oil in the underlying sediments.
Figure 11. A. Nipa palm established in former dead mangrove area. B. Overview of
dead mangrove area with nipa (N) seedlings outcompeting (M) mangrove seedlings.
Photos by E. Gundlach.
Mangrove Planting
Results of planting 346 mangrove seedlings in the area of remediation indicates that they
can survive and grow in contaminated sediments. The median TPH values at the seven planted
sites are 41,00 mg/kg surface and 6,100 mg/kg subsurface. However, the continued daily
occurrence of newly spilled oil (both sheen and black oil) is stressing the plants and likely
contributing to the observed mortality. Of the ten tagged plants at each site, there was a 67%
survival rate. One site was hit by a recent spill from an illegal operation on the pipeline and 9 of
10 monitored plants were lost. As end-points of physical cleanup are completed, areas having
former mangrove will be replanted, requiring approximately 2.5 million plants.
Cleanup End Points and Government Approvals
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Abstract 688932 2020 International Oil Spill Conference
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The entire work area is divided into 363 work units (‘Grids’) varying in size (15% < 1
ha, 39% < 2 ha, 63% < 3 ha, and 80% < 4 ha; where 1 ha = 2.47 ac).
For each Grid, a two-stage process is used for close-out.
Visual: A visual determination of pit oiling is carried out by the SCAT team at a
minimum of three sites (but commonly having at least five or six sites). Grids
where SCAT confirms that all measured sites (each with three pits) have an
average oiling level of 25% or less, it is documented and passed to the Project
Director for review.
Chemical: Once a Grid work area is confirmed by SCAT, the Project Director
reviews the SCAT data and confirms in writing that it is ready for chemical
sampling as required by Nigerian regulatory agencies. The values used for the
chemically based closeout are described below. Sediments composited from
three pits immediately beneath the top 0.5 cm (to avoid the influence of recent
oiling) and at 20-25 cm (7-10 in) below the surface will analyzed.
For this Project, Nigerian regulatory agencies have approved the adoption of Tier 2 Site
Specific Target Levels (SSTLs) of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs), depending on
exposure-based land-use (Figure 12):
a. Bodo shoreline visitors and adjacent residents: Area: ~2 ha (5 ac). Exposure is to Bodo
residents using the shoreline and walking to fishing areas, boats and for other activities.
TPH SSTL=5000 mg/kg.
b. Fish ponds and fishing areas: Area: ~13 ha (32 ac). Exposure is via contact with
sediments during future fish pond operations and fishing. TPH SSTL=7400 mg/kg.
c. Visitors to oiled mangroves and refineries: Area: ~940 ha (2322 ac). Exposure occurs
during passage across dead mangroves to living mangroves for wood and food
collection. TPH SSTL=42,700 mg/kg.
Phase 2 will also monitor planted areas to ensure their sustainability. Areas not
surviving will receive additional remediation and will be replanted.
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Abstract 688932 2020 International Oil Spill Conference
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Figure 12. Overview of risk-level locations.
Waste Storage and Removal
A total of 33,186 l (8765 gal) of liquid oil / mousse was collected during Phase 1
operations in addition to large quantities of plastics and other household waste. Phase 2
activities include the additional collection of asphalt / tar, nipa palm and potential effluent from
onsite sediment treatments. All materials are brought to a central temporary waste storage
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Abstract 688932 2020 International Oil Spill Conference
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facility with appropriate linings for subsequent transport to a government approved facility for
final disposal or treatment.
Project Monitoring
There are several layers of Project monitoring and coordination. The SCAT team is
responsible for field verification that Phase 2 pit oiling levels are met on a Grid-by-Grid basis,
which is then verified by the BMI Project Director. The BMI Project Director issues weekly
reports that include Grid cleanup status, contractor accomplishments and issues, and Key
Performance Indicators. Concerns and issues with contractor performance are noted and
discussed with the contractor as they arise. Bi-weekly Project management meetings are held to
ensure the Project is kept on track and deficiencies are noted for correction. A stakeholder’s
report (available during the Project from BMICommunications2@gmail.com) is issued bi-
weekly to inform the Bodo Community and interested parties.
Potential Setbacks
Potential setbacks include:
1. Community unrest: The Project was stopped for two years (2015 to 2017) due to local
community unrest. Factions exist within the community that believe they have been unduly
excluded from contracts or not sufficiently rewarded. Work stoppages may occur.
2. Security: There is an increase in cult (gang) related activities as three cults vie for territory.
An attempt on the life of the Paramount Ruler of Bodo was unsuccessful in December 2019
only because he was not at his residence in Bodo. Unfortunately, others were there and lost
their lives. All movement of SCAT personnel to the work area is with armed escort. Ex-
patriot personnel additionally are transported in an armored car with the escorted convoy.
3. Continued oil spillage: Illegal activities have not stopped in Bodo, resulting in continued
pollution on a daily basis. In 2020, a 2-km steel pipeline was found extending from the
SPDC Trans-Niger Pipeline to illegal refining sites. This pipeline and another were found to
be actively leaking oil.
CONCLUSIONS
This is a work-in-progress. In spite of numerous obstacles, it is proceeding. Areas
affected by the spills in 2008 and thereafter are actively being remediated. Visually, it looks
better than it has for many years. Wildlife, particularly birds, are visibly returning. Local
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Abstract 688932 2020 International Oil Spill Conference
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fishers are now seen fairly regularly in areas where none were previously observed. The
procedures for success are in place. The continued active support of the Project and its
objectives is required of all parties involved, including SPDC, Nigerian governmental and
regulatory agencies, the Bodo Community, non-governmental organizations, international
entities and others.
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%20CONTROL%20MEASURES%20FOR%20NYPA%20PALM%20INFESTATION%20IN%20NIGE
RIA.%20FINAL%20REPORT%20(23585.en)
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... This resulted in further assessments of the impacted areas starting in 2015, and the start of the first phase of clean-up activities in 2017 (Bonte et al., 2020). The clean-up activities consist of a first phase which involves water flushing of impacted sediments aiming to recover free phase oil and stimulate biodegradation followed by a second phase involving mangrove seedling replanting and monitoring of mangrove recovery (Gundlach et al., 2021b;Iturbe-Espinoza et al., 2022). ...
... This resulted in further assessments of the impacted areas starting in 2015, and the start of the first phase of clean-up activities in 2017 (Bonte et al., 2020). The clean-up activities consist of a first phase which involves water flushing of impacted sediments aiming to recover free phase oil and stimulate biodegradation followed by a second phase involving mangrove seedling replanting and monitoring of mangrove recovery (Gundlach et al., 2021b;Iturbe-Espinoza et al., 2022). ...
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The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its joint-venture partners - particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation - have earned billions of dollars from the oil extracted from the land of the Ogoni in the Niger Delta. The Ogoni however complain that they have not seen adequate benefits; rather the oil has cost them dearly in terms of a deteriorating environment and underdevelopment and mobilized a successful national and international campaign against the Nigerian government and Shell. Despite the avowed non-violent nature of the campaign, military repression resulted in thousands of Ogoni killed, raped, beaten, detained and exiled and the main leaders executed. Under pressure from the Ogoni, Shell was forced to pull out from Ogoniland in 1993. Since then, Shell International has re-invented its corporate strategy in line with principles of sustainable development and it has committed itself to a level of stakeholder engagement on its environmental and social performance which would have been unthinkable in 1995. So for Shell, a return to Ogoni would be a powerful symbol that their corporate commitment to being a socially responsible company is being translated into action on the ground. However, there is still little trust between the company and the Ogoni people and their representative organization, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). Many of the issues raised by the Ogoni (such as the need for locally sustainable development, distribution of oil wealth, community projects and environmental issues) have yet to be addressed. This paper is the first of a trilogy examining the issues, relationships, management and strategic implications of the case. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
Environmental guidelines and standards for the petroleum industry in
EGASPIN, 2018. Environmental guidelines and standards for the petroleum industry in
Issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources
  • Nigeria
Nigeria. Issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources, Lagos. Third Edition.
Port Harcourt; for submission to Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA)
  • Initiative
Initiative, Port Harcourt; for submission to Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA). 85p.
SCAT Delineation of Oiling
  • Nwabueze
Nwabueze, 2020. SCAT Delineation of Oiling, Cleanup Verification, Chemical Sampling, Coring, and Mangrove Test Planting in Bodo, Eastern Niger Delta, Nigeria. IOSC 2020, Poster. Isichei, A.O. and M.A. Akin-Fajiye, 2013. Plant invasions in Nigeria: In Nigerian Forests: Protection and Sustainable Development, Chapter 20. E. Okon, D, Bown and A. Isichei (eds).