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Trouble flares in Niger delta

Financial Times

By Tom Burgis in Port Harcourt

Published: November 2 2009 02:00 | Last updated: November 2 2009 02:00


The flames have burned for half a century but darkness still prevails in the Niger delta.

At night, the orange glow from flares – fuelled by the waste natural gas from crude production – provides the only light visible across vast stretches of Nigeria’s oil region, where many settlements are starved of power.

Western oil companies including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Eni and Royal Dutch Shell have reduced flaring but continue to burn off about a quarter of Nigeria’s annual gas output in spite of incurring fines.

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