Slippery business

Published: Thursday 31 July 2003

Killing oilfields (Credit: AP Photo)Oil major Shell has decided to publish details of its payments made to the Nigerian government, which amounted to us $900 million last year, following a campaign by human rights groups and the uk to reduce corruption in oil and mineral-rich developing countries.

Meanwhile, more than 100 people were killed in a petrol pipeline explosion in southeast Nigeria recently. Most of the deceased were villagers scavenging for oil at a rupture made by thieves.

According to officials, the blast was caused by sparks from a motorcycle that was carrying stolen petroleum from the pipeline. Similar explosions have killed hundreds of Nigerian villagers in the past. Most of the accidents occur during pilferage and transportation.

Nigeria is the world's eighth largest crude oil exporter.

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