Nigeria's Illegal Oil Refineries

Reuters photographer Akintunde Akinleye recently gained rare access to an illegal oil refinery near the river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa. There, he was able to document the secret and dangerous practice of oil bunkering, where locals hack into oil pipelines, steal the crude oil, and refine or sell it abroad. For over 50 years now, crude oil and natural gas have been extracted from the Niger Delta by large corporations, which have had their share of environmental disasters. The ongoing damage from the tapped pipes and these makeshift refineries continue to take a terrible toll on the environment and the local population. See also "Nigeria: The Cost of Oil" from 2011.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Smithsonian Institution

    Photos of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

    In April 1904, St. Louis opened its doors to the world, welcoming millions to see the fascinating buildings and exhibits of art, technology, and history on display at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

  • Randall Hill / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Baobab Alley, Armed Mob, River Rescue

    A beard-and-mustache battle in Los Angeles, a sleepy young rhino in France, a shepherd among Turkish foothills, the Corso Zundert flower parade in the Netherlands, the “Futurium” in Berlin, and much more

  • Scott Olson / Getty

    Photos: The Wreckage Left by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

    Early images of the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Dorian’s slow crawl across the Bahamas

  • Justin Reznick Photography / Getty

    A Photo Trip to Washington State, Dedicated to My Parents

    After a difficult month, a time when I lost both my mother and my father, I’ve collected images of the place they loved and called home, as a tribute to them.