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Modelling of Potential Pipeline Impact Radius and High Consequence Area in a Wetland Sub-Region of Nigeria
Crude oil transportation through pipelines presents danger to communities along its path. In the Niger Delta region of Nigeria for instance, pipeline vandalism occurs indiscriminately and regularly, such that every segment of a pipeline network becomes a potential target and possibly source of oil spill hazard. In terms of pipeline hazard and risk distribution, the oil plume's ability to migrate freely in wetlands and encroachment on pipeline right of ways by people increases chances of wider contact and exposure opportunities to inhabitants and the environment. Despite several efforts to mitigate pipeline hazards in the oil and gas sector, none has been effective in Nigeria partly due to paucity of data in public domain and poor public participation. Therefore considering the environmental and human health challenges associated with oil spills, an alternative method was developed using multi-criteria decision analysis to model 1) pipeline hazard zones, 2) potential pipeline impact radius, and 3) high consequence areas with four attribute layers, i.e. land cover, population, river and pipeline to encourage public participation. The model identified land use areas, communities and rivers likely to be susceptible to pipeline hazards and areas requiring regular monitoring and possible intervention. Meanwhile the model sensitivity test indicated that the river layer was most sensitive, while transferability was limited to similar criteria variables. The model can stimulate public participation in pipeline hazard management while policy makers and regulators would find it relevant in oil spill impact mitigation.
Model, Spatial Analysis, Pipeline Hazard, Exposure Pathways, Oil Spill Risk.
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