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Ibrahim Lawan (HWU)


Project Title: Potential Ecotoxicological Effects of Chemical Pollution from Oil and Gas Exploration on Parhyale hawaiensis – a Model for Tropical Marine Environment Study

Funding: Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigeria

Supervisors: Prof. Theodore B. Henry

The Nigerian coastal and marine environment has been a valuable source of energy after discovering significant oil and gas reserves since 1956. However, the oil and gas industry may present two major operational chemical pollution problems. First is an oil spill – the deliberate or unintentional release of crude oil or petroleum hydrocarbons into the environment during exploration activities. The second is the produced water (PW), a by-product effluent generated during resource extraction, which contains residual organic and inorganic pollutants that often have devastating impacts on aquatic organisms and unbalance aquatic ecosystem homeostasis. Chemical pollution from these sources may pose a significant and ever-present ecotoxicological threat to Nigerian coastal and marine environments, mainly due to continuous exploration activities and oil transportation. Furthermore, the oceanic currents may continuously spread the potential pollutants from the point sources to downstream ecosystems. Therefore, analysing the ecotoxicity of potential chemical pollution from oil and gas activities on aquatic organisms is crucial to protecting Nigerian ecosystems and making sustainable oil industry. 

The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) – a Federal Government agency – has the mandate of developing indigenous human capacity and petroleum technology to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry and make its operation sustainable. Therefore, my project aims to investigate the ecotoxicological effects of potential pollutants in oil spills and produced water (PW) on Parhyale hawaiensis – a common tropical marine environment model organism.