The Project Coordinator, Titan Integrated Environmental Management Limited, Andrew Ellea, has warned that except pro-active steps are taken to establish strong institutional arrangement that will guarantee waste disposal, the environment of oil bearing communities in the country would remain in jeopardy.
Ellea also tasked host communities to engage oil exploration companies operating in their areas to establish a waste management company that would ensure that the wastes being generated from their activities are properly managed. He said that exploration and production activities sometimes result in accidental discharge of oil into the environment, which distorts the originality of the area.
He added that oil spills are major causes of environmental hazards, loss of natural habitat and inability of the impacted area to sustain plant and human life. He said it was in view of the anticipated hazards that his company urged the host communities to ensure that oil companies operating in their areas put in place waste management companies that would effectively handle these wastes by converting them from toxic elements to detoxicants.
According to him? even though there are regulatory bodies to regulate activities of the major oil firms yet some of them evade these laws and therefore? advised that during drilling exercises? communities should ensure that they have waste management companies that would effectively handle these wastes.
“It is your duty to safeguard the environment you live in to ensure that whoever that is exploring oil in your community has a waste management company that would handle wastes,” he said. Ellea said that Titan Project Nigeria Limited has introduced a technology known as the Thermal Desorption Unit (TDU) in Forcados terminal, among other facilities for the management of oil fields’ wastes.
The company has also introduced the Titan Integrated Environmental Waste Management. This process he said, would not only handle the oil and gas wastes, but also handle municipal and solid wastes. He said the process is still ongoing because the company is yet to conclude agreement with the Federal Government and Rivers State Government.
He said that the company provides its services to a number of exploration and production companies including Shell, Elf, Addax and ExxonMobil within and around the Niger Delta region. Titan facilities he said handles tank bottom sludge, hydrocarbon contaminated waste, oil and water based drilling/cuttings, pipeline pigging waste and obsolete chemicals.
He explained that the wastes generated from exploration and production activities is drawn into the TDU and what is left after the treatment is broken down into detoxicants in such a way that what is now given out into the air eventually is a gaseous element, which he said is safe for the environment.