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"The Devil's Gold"

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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:54 AM
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"The Devil's Gold"
In exploiting the oilfields off the coast of the West Africa, the United States is engaging in its own form of development aid.

There is so much frenzied activity on the embankment that it resembles a termite hill. Emaciated men and women scramble down the muddy slope in plastic flip-flops to collect some of the fuel littering the beach.

A brewery truck loaded with gasoline cans has hurtled down the embankment. Now it lies upside-down in the water, its wheels spinning in the air. On both sides of the road from Port Harcourt to Warri, swaying figures walk home balancing tin bowls filled with gasoline on their heads.

Stealing oil and gasoline has become routine in the Niger delta. The oil industry estimates that upwards of 15 percent of nationwide production is lost to theft. Most of it is directly tapped from pipelines. But black market traders claim that this is not theft. After all, they say, the oil in the ground belongs to them and not to international oil companies

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