Impact of Oilfield Wastewater from Santa Barbara Oil Rig Location on the Microbial Population of Santa Barbara River in Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Oyibo Ntongha and Obire Omokaro*
Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Obire Omokaro, Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
April 14, 2022; Published: May 18, 2022
Oilfield wastewater contains toxic substances that are detrimental to aquatic microflora. Its continuous disposal into aquatic environment has long become a menace in the Niger Delta due to oil exploration activities. The effect of oilfield wastewater from Santa Barbara oil rig was investigated bi-weekly for a period of two (2) months. A total of forty (40) water samples collected from the vicinity of the oil rig and from a control point were analyzed for counts of bacteria and fungi using standard microbiological methods. Results showed that counts of total heterotrophic bacteria (THB) ranged from 3.8×104cfu/ml to 9.2×104cfu/ml; total fungi ranged from 1.2×102cfu/ml to 3.2×102cfu/ml; total hydrocarbon utilizing bacteria (THUB) ranged from 2.6×103cfu/ml to 4.0×103cfu/ml while total hydrocarbon utilizing fungi (THUF) ranged from 0.8×101cfu/ml to 1.7×101cfu/ml. The decreasing order of both THB and fungi counts in the stations was; Control > Downstream > Upstream > Deck drainage > Drilling point. The decreasing order of THUB was Deck drainage > Drilling point > Upstream > Downstream > Control. The decreasing order of THUF was Deck drainage > Drilling point > Downstream > Upstream > Control. The bacteria isolated from the study area included Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Aeromonas, Alcaligenes, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Salmonella and Escherichia. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) showed that there is significant difference in THB between the control and other stations; calculated F value (34.73952) ˃ F-critical value (6.388234). The lowest counts in the rig locations are attributed to the impact of oilfield wastewater on aquatic microbes and diversity. While the highest counts of hydrocarbon utilizing microbes is attributed to the selective enrichment of hydrocarbon utilizers. Their high prevalence revealed that Santa Barbara River contained active indigenous hydrocarbon utilizers that can be harnessed for bioremediation process.
Keywords: Swamp; Santa Barbara Oil Rig; Oilfield Wastewater; Hydrocarbon Utilizing Bacteria
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