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

  • Carl Court / Getty

    Juhyo: The Snow Monsters on Japan’s Mount Zao

    Windblown ice and snow build up hulking shapes on the trees atop Mount Zao.

  • Eloisa Lopez / Reuters

    The Colorless Landscape Around Taal Volcano

    In the Philippines, parts of the landscape near Taal have gone completely gray, covered in a blanket of volcanic ash.

  • Stephanie Keith / Reuters

    Photos From the Pro-gun Rally in Virginia

    Thousands gathered around Virginia’s state capitol to protest proposed gun-control laws.

  • Chris Moore / Exploring Light Photography / Getty

    Georgia: Images of the Peach State

    A few glimpses into the lush, often historic features of Georgia, and some of the animals and people that call it home