An oil spill in Nigeria. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources: Oil in Nigeria:Problems of oil extraction

The following are problem associated with oil extractions:

  • Hot humid equatorial climate is associated with high incidence of environmental diseases.
  • High temperatures reduce the capability of to work.
  • Slippery and unstable ground/high level of ground water makes construction of roads, railway lines and pipelines difficult.
  • Numerous distributaries increase the cost of construction of bridges.
  • Limited refining capacity. Refining capacity at Warri and Port Harcout cannot meet the local demand.
  • Heavy dependency on foreign investment.
  • Environmental pollution such as oil spills damage coastal ecosystems.

Benefits of oil extraction

  • Foreign currency earnings through exporting of oil.
  • Employment creation.
  • Growth of industry including oil refining and petro chemicals.
  • Government revenue through company taxation.
  • Oil is more efficient than coal and wood when it comes to burning.


  • The price of oil fluctuates greatly on the world market according to the amount being produced.
  • Environmental pollution.
  • General decline in agriculture due to shortage of labour which will be diverted to mining.
  • Foreign companies mainly TNCs export crude oil to their countries of origin and this reduces the rate of industrialization.
  • Explosion of pipelines has resulted in loss of life on several occasions.
  • Political activism resulting from environmental pollution and foreign ownership for example the Ken Sarowira saga.

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