Tokunbo Gbolagade Balogun1, Augustine E. Ejiofor2, and Ikechukwu Charles Okoro2
1 Shell Petroleum Development Company, Warri, Nigeria
2 Shell Petroleum Development Company, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Oil and Gas exploration and production in Nigeria has witnessed a major shift in activities and operations from onshore and near-shore environment to the shallow and deep offshore environment in recent times. This shift in focus is attributed to major exploration successes and discoveries in the offshore environment coupled with the socially enabling nature of the environment judging from the' reduced negative and difficult social issues common to operations in the onshore and near-shore Niger Delta environment. As we progress with the development and build the offshore production capacity, we must not overlook the potential environmental concern that may be posed by the management of waste arising from the effort. We must remember that the environmental neglect of yesterday cannot be separated from the environmental problems of today in the Niger Delta. Therefore, in order that today may not be another negative yesterday of tomorrow, we need to take conscious and rationally consistent steps, as we develop the abundant valuable resource in offshore Nigeria, in the management of the environmental. In doing this, we must pay particular attention to waste management. Added to this is the growing concern on biodiversity and the need to preserve the environment hitherto unexplored in the deep offshore environment.
Leaning on the prevailing and available regulatory framework in Nigeria, this paper attempts to look at the waste management challenges faced by the offshore oil and gas operators, the investment opportunities arising from E&P development and the recommended and adopted measures for protecting the environment in the region.