Oil drilling on the Niger Delta. Image credit worldofmatter.net

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Exploitation of Natural Resources: Case Study:Oil in Nigeria

  • Nigeria is the largest producer of oil in Africa. This sweet oil is similar in composition to petroleum extracted from the North Sea.
  •  There are six petroleum exportation terminals in the country. Shell owns two, while Mobil, Chevron, Texaco, and Agip own one each.
  • As of 2014, Nigeria’s petroleum industry contributes about 14% to its economy.

Geological occurrence of oil and extraction method

  • Oil occurs in the pores of sedimentary rocks.
  • It normally occurs in dome-shaped anticlines between layers of non-porous rocks.
  • The oil is usually trapped in the crest of the anticline with gas above and water below.
  • Oil bearing rocks may be affected by faulting and occurrence of volcanoes.
  • Before the oil can be extracted, a detailed survey of the geological structure of the area is carried out.
  • This is followed by the drilling of oil wells and construction of derricks.
  • When the drill reaches the oil underground it comes out through the well.
  • When the oil ceases to flow naturally it is pumped to the surface.
  • This is usually done by pumping water into the well which forces the oil up as it is less dense.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page