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Conflict Mining/Resources, Environment, Human Rights, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Niger Delta: 50 years of oil

Photos from “Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta

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The lure of oil is its cheapness. What we mean is that oil is a cheap source of energy. It is cheap partly because oil’s costs of extraction–in the Niger Delta and much of the tropical world–are not reflected in the price at the pump, and what Calvino called the “puny power of paper money,” .

One consequence of the unfettered and wreckless exploration and exploitation of oil in the delta is that the poor people continue to subsidize the costs of crude oil through the losses they suffer in environmental services, quality of life, and extreme environmental degradation. In turn, opportunistic groups– oil bunkerers, gangs, militants–find space to extract (and extort) financial gains from the system.

Rather than getting better, the crisis in the Niger Delta appears to be getting more intractable. Meetings, programs, projects, and commissions multiply–yet the many-headed hydra that is mass poverty in the Delta simply grows more appendages. The path of crude oil development is strewn with skeletons and soaked in human blood across the world.

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1 Comment

  1. Why blame the oil since it is the people that have badly managed the free resource. That may not OK with some but it is not cheap. Oil is free! Those that have seen the inside of septic tanks would understand why it is free.

    It is a shame that poor people continue to subsidize the costs of crude oil through the losses they suffer in environmental services, quality of life, and extreme environmental degradation while the explorers continue acquiring equity stakes in exploration and development assets.

    Beautys last blog post..Dr Rilwanu Lukman & Power in Nigeria