Crude Oil Contaminated River Fishes arising from the Activities of Illegal Petroleum Refining in Oshika and Egbalor Communities in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Document Type : Original Article


1 Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Crude Oil and Gas terminal Operations Unit, Production Department, 19/21 Warri Sapele Road, Effurun, Delta State, Nigeria

2 Centre for Engineering and Technology Management (CETM), Institute of Engineering and Innovation Management (METI), University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria


The study evaluated catfish from the surrounding streams of two selected inactive sites of illegal petroleum refineries at Oshika and Egbalor communities of Rivers State, Nigeria with a control. Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test Statistical method was used in the analysis. This study showed that the concentrations of heavy metal pollutants in Fish followed distribution patterns of Cu>Pb>As>Co>Ni>Zn>Cr>Cd in Oshika site while that of Egbalor site is Zn> Cu> As> Ni> Cr> Co> Cd> Pb Which are all higher than WHO recommended permissible limits and control except Zn. This makes the fish contaminated from the illegal refinery activities. THC from C10, C12, C15, C18 and C20 were found in the fish with values 91.19, 17.54 and .001 for sites A, B and control respectively. The result also showed high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)s in the sampled fish which are higher than the WHO recommended permissible limits and USEPA regulatory standard values for PAHs with a corresponding 30.09% and 11.64% of carcinogenic PAHs for Oshika and Egbalor sites respectively, thereby making the fish toxic. Recommendations were made for possible mitigation for illegal refineries.


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