Nigeria is a country where petroleum production and polio are both booming, where small villages challenge giant oil companies, and scooter drivers run their own mini-state. The oil-rich Delta region at the heart of it all is, as Michael Peel shows us, a troublespot as hot as the local pepper soup. Through a host of characters, from the 'Area Boys' of Lagos to the crew of a US warship, from the militants in their swamp forest hide-outs to the oil company executives in London, Peel tells the story of this extraordinary country, which grows ever more wild and lawless by the day as its refined petroleum pumps through our cities. Peel demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between western energy consumption and the breakdown of the state in Nigeria, where the rank corruption of the haves is matched only by the determination and ingenuity of the have-nots. As the price of oil gyrates on international markets and the world's hunt for new reserves becomes ever more desperate, Nigeria's tale is a dark warning of how unbridled plunder eventually rebounds on those who have done the taking. Blending vivid reportage, history and investigative journalism, A Swamp Full of Dollars takes us under the skin of a country locked in a deadly embrace with big oil.
Swamp Full of Dollars, A
Pipelines and Paramilitaries at Nigeria's Oil Frontier