RealNews

Oil profits in impoverished Niger Delta fuel kidnappings

Deep in the remote and rain-soaked Niger Delta, oil, politics and money have mixed in an ugly cocktail. Foreign hostages, including Britons, were being ferried from a Nigerian offshore oil rig yesterday at the end of a two-week siege by disgruntled local workers. Thirty-five British and 62 American and other foreign oil workers had been trapped aboard four drilling platforms operated by the US oil company Transocean off the Delta, in a dispute with unionised local workers. But such disputes are 10 a penny here. Kidnappings and hostage-takings are routine in this region of creeks and mangrove swamps, and are normally settled with money, though most oil companies officially deny this. Most companies consider the cheaper options is to pay off the troublemakers, ensuring, in an impoverished region, that the incidents keep happening. Full Story

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