Oil Extraction, Human Security and Sustainable Development: The Case of The Niger Delta

Open Access
DiGregorio, Kylee Marie
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Clemente K Abrokwaa, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jeffery Todd Ulmer, Honors Advisor
  • Kevin J Thomas, Faculty Reader
  • Oil Extraction
  • Human Security
  • Sustainable Development
  • The Niger Delta
The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of oil extraction practices employed by multinational corporations, on the state of human security and the potential for sustainable development in developing countries. Specifically, it examines the oil extraction strategies of the Royal Dutch Shell Company in The Niger Delta, of Nigeria. The objective is to investigate, if there is any connection between the oil extraction policies of the Royal Dutch Shell and the current human security and sustainable development concerns prevailing in the region. Although political figures are frequently met with conflicting interests, those which ostensibly involve economic expansion are often prioritized at the expense of the nation’s state of human security and sustainable development. Many scholars have explored the outcomes of this cost-benefit calculation with respect to the Nigerian Government and its relationship with Shell, which has established oil extraction sites throughout The Niger Delta that may have fostered adverse consequences for those living in the surrounding communities. Though several studies have focused on the alleged environmental degradation and workers’ health conditions that are thought to be derived from such extraction practices, little research has been conducted to assess the ways in which such methods have affected the lives of those who inhabit areas in which extraction zones have been introduced. The study addresses this oversight within the extant literature. The findings of the study confirmed our original hypothesis that prevailing evidence indicates a direct connection between the oil extraction policies of the Royal Dutch Shell and the human security and sustainable development concerns in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study outlines several recommendations for the Nigerian government as well as for the Royal Dutch Shell Company in the efforts to resolve the problems created by the oil extraction policies and their effects on the people and the environment of the Niger Delta region. Data collection for the study included library resources such as books, Internet sources, newspaper and journal articles, video documentaries, demographic surveys, statistical reports published by international organizations, and records and public statements released by Shell.