Oil spills in Nigeria has resulted from the following major causes; pipeline leakage and ruptures, well blow out, onshore and offshore drilling, accidents and sabotage by aggrieved communities and unscrupulous individuals (DPR, 1991). Between 1976 and 2007, nearly 2,000,000 barrels of oil spills incidents has been reported by oil companies operating in Nigeria within this period 2.4 million barrels of crude oil were released on land and the coastal areas. These oil spill incidents include;
- Fumiwa oil well blowout, (near the town of Sagama) released over 400,000 barrels of crude oil. Compensation paid to the communities affected and cleanup exercises cost up to 10 million U.S dollars
- Satraps Obasi 21 oil well blow-outs
- Shell Bp II oil well blow-out.
Oil producing communities have suffered extensively from various forms of environmental degradations, depressions and spoilage (Akingbade, 1991).
Also, the Exxon valdez spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, united states on march 14 1989. It was considered one of the most devastating man-made environmental disaster ever to occur at sea. The vessel spilled 10.8 million US gallons (40. 9 million litres) of prudehoe Bay crude oil into the sea and oil eventually covered 11,000 square miles (28,000 km2) of ocean (SPDC, 1998).