Resource exploitation is normally a balance between environmental costs and economic benefits. Evaluate the relative geographical costs and economic benefits of exploiting one named resource, which in this essay is oil.
Exploiting a resource is making the use of something that is not being used, there is a balance between the two because when a resource like oil is being exploited there are many consequences like environmental costs and there are also positive results like economic benefits
There are many different Environmental costs, one of the main and most well known is the oil spills, which occur when pumping oil and there is always a risk. In 1999 there was 319 oil spills that is over 50,200 barrels of oil. My Case study will be on Nigeria and all the problems that it faced with the international multi billionaire company Shell and its environmental costs that it is suffering due to the oil resource that they have exploited. Even though I will be writing about Nigeria the problems that occurred in Nigeria are equal to any place in the same situation. The people who own the land that is being used have not received the benefits; this exploitation of oil has only bought pollution of soil and water, health defects, political suppression and violent reaction by the government.
Most of the area surrounding and in the middle of all the oil extraction system lack clean piped water, education electricity, road system and medical facilities. Ekakpamre is an area in Nigeria where there was an oil spill on the 17 September 1998 the spill was very close to a stream that was fast flowing in to the delta so the water was contaminated and a lot of crops were killed which caused many different problems with farmers including starvation and bankruptcy.
There were many problems after the spill as a clear up by Shell was organised and the agreement was set but then the locals changed their mind and argued shell promised in the contract that it would bring jobs to the Nigerians and that they arrange to give more employment to the locals. After the spill there were many things that were sent to the communities like medical supplies and food items. In Nigeria there were a lot of documents which could be questioned due to there ignorance of seeing the consequences of there immediate change to the environment, there was a case of this near the river delta, oil was extracted from the land which caused the soil to collapse which then bought the level of land to decrease and the consequences of lower land level near rivers are major, floods is the main effect which can then cause down river droughts which causes deaths, it can also cause sanitation problems in farmers crops.
Another environmental cost is the pipelines that were built through the farmer’s lands with no reasonable paper work from individual farmers. The pipelines have stopped the villages expanding in all different ways, as the pipelines have not been covered due to repairs being cheaper and enlargement of pipes, the farmers are not happy, as they cannot us heavy machinery as there is danger of bursting the oil filled pipes. Regulations and human rights have been broken and the environment is suffering because of it.
The economic benefit: Nigeria began to exploit its oil in 1958, earning the economy and the people more then $ 30,000 million, making it the 5th highest producer in the world. Before the oil was discovered in Nigeria, its exports was one of the lowest in the world, and its economy status was less then poor, after it was discovered they supply America with more then 40 % of there oil, 90% of Nigeria’s exports is oil, there status has made them powerful in the export world. 95% of foreign exchange earnings is due to the oil, this makes Nigeria the only country in the world to be nearly 100% dependant on the exploitation of oil.
Nigerian government have backed Shell with any development planning regulations that they need to keep the oil making the economy expand. The oil exploitation has not just interested countries for oil but has made other countries realise that Nigeria has potential to be more, china has just signed a new contract for Nigeria to be there main supplier of rock material, and nutrients in there soil. China has also signed 573 project and work contracts worth 1.229 billion dollars.
I believe that Nigeria have gained millions of dollars because of the exploitation of the oil and economically it has changed Nigeria from being nothing to being 12% of the worlds export in resources, these can be balanced because the environmental consequences which any country suffers because of the exploitation, I believe it can be partly blamed on the country as they have the power to say no to expanding and building, like the middle east which control most of the worlds oil as they put a sale price on oil and even the quantity, but after the economic benefits the environmental costs should be looked at as places like Nigeria have problem which can not be solved as they did not see the consequences of degradation of soil water and living circumstances after the exploitation of oil. Does it really balance out lives and fines for the environmental costs or economic benefits. Places like Nigeria could have massive problems for the future and fines that maybe in the long run over come the oil benefits.