Britain offers to help secure Nigerian oil

An oil rig off the coast of Nigeria


Bob Moon: One of the fastest growing criminal rackets in the world is plaguing the West African nation of Nigeria and the effects are being felt around the globe. Thieves are stealing millions of barrels of oil in the Niger Delta.

Today, Britain is offering the Nigerian government help to tackle the problem.

From London, Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown meets the Nigerian President today. Oil is at the top of the agenda. Brown is voicing concern about the daily loss of tons of oil in the Niger Delta.

This is highly desirable crude, the light, low sulfur product that's turned into diesel and gasoline. Armed insurgents steal up to half a million barrels of it a day and, says Simon Wardell of Global Insight, a further 350,000 barrels a day can be lost through disruption.

Simon Wardell: A lot of oil is shut in. In other words, it's production that could be produced but isn't because of either damage or risks to employees in the Niger Delta region from some of the militant groups there.

This lost production puts further upward pressure on the global price of crude. The British Prime Minister is offering military assistance in cracking down on the insurgents, but critics of the plan say this could be seen as a threat to Nigerian sovereignty.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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@Kenn - you are right with your assessment of the situation on the surface.
@Charles - you are more right because your assessment is much more indept than the above commentator.Relying on the tabloids and living real stream time in the country is different ..then you get the real perspective behind the screen shenanigans.Definitely we all know its a bigger picture than the **Lack of control, plundering by authorities and lawlessness affect too many Africian nations.** media yada yada!

The Nigerian situation is part of a much larger problem for other African nations. Lack of control, plundering by authorities and lawlessness affect too many Africian nations. These countries either can't or don't manage these precious resources for their citizens.

And who exactly do you think controls the bunkering market ? The oligarchy in Nigeria of course.Come on stop deceiving yourselves. You must think we are fools

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