Nigeria is a country on the west coast of Africa with 174,507,539 million citizens. The capital of Nigeria is Abuja and the official language is English. In 1956, travelers found oil in the Oloibiri, Nigerian Bayelesa region. Today, Nigeria is the largest producer of oil in Africa and it is also “one of the poorest countries in the world.” The mass production and manufacturing of oil has triggered social problems for its citizens. Nigeria is also one of the world’s top ten crude oil producers. The country’s oil industry has an enormous impact on the global oil markets.
First, the oil industry in Nigeria is causing many social problems for its citizens. This industry is doing very little to help the Nigerian people. The unemployment rate was 23.9% in 2011 according to the Central Intelligence Agency estimates and 70% of the population lived below the poverty line in 2010.For forty years, the country has been plagued with problems directly related to the oil industry. International mobs are building illegal oil refineries and they are stealing the oil from pipelines. They are also responsible for murders, kidnappings, shootings and corruption in Nigeria. Writer Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed because he believed that money from oil extraction should be fairly shared with the Nigerian people. Ken also spoke about the impact of environmental damages that petroleum companies Shell and BP. were causing in Nigeria.
According to the Advocate, a Nigerian newspaper, in Diebu, the medical clinics do not have medicine and schools are falling to pieces. The HIV/AIDS virus kills 300,000 people in Nigeria every year and 1.5 million kids are orphaned by the disease.
Nigeria: Top Oil Producer
Next, Nigeria is one of the world’s top crude oil producers. The state was ranked at number 12 in 2012 according to United States Energy Information Administration. Nigeria mainly produces light sweet oil and its nation depends on this oil for survival. It produced 2.525 million barrels of crude oil per day in 2011 and exported 2.051 million barrels per day in 2009. Nigeria is so rich with oil it will probably never have to buy oil. On January 1 2012, Nigeria had 38.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and was ranked number ten in the world.
Nigeria: Oil Market Impact
Nigeria has an enormous impact on the global oil markets. The country sends oil to the United States, Spain, Brazil, France, India, Japan, Germany, France, the Netherlands and other countries. As the oil gangs in shabby boats and make shift oil refineries become more violent, the price of crude oil increases. As stated by the Nigerian oil minister, 150,000 barrels of oil is stolen every day.The oil gangs also make it more expensive for oil companies to do business in Nigeria. For example, the oil companies will have to hire extra security guards to protect their employees and their refineries. Shell Nigeria is trying by providing some jobs and other opportunities.However, politics and economic strife are rampant in the petroleum industry in Nigeria and it prevents economic and social progress.
In 2002, the United States declared that the Nigerian oil is a very important asset. So important, that the United States would probably use military force to protect the oil. Nigeria is America’s fifth largest oil provider. Nigerian oil is not only important to America but it is also vital to other countries. Oil is used in cars, aircraft, boats, heavy machinery, medical devices, plastics and in many other ways. The oil is used in trucks and ships to transport goods all around the world. Without oil, almost all countries will be on the brink of a recession. The military armed forces around the world can not survive without oil.
In February 2007, Sebastian Junger wrote in Vanity Fair a compelling story about the impact of the Nigerian “Blood Oil.” This small African nation’s problems can change oil prices all around the world. Although Nigeria has a huge impact in the oil industry, environmental destruction and widespread poverty continues. It is very depressing to observe billion dollar companies enjoying the fruits of their labor when the Nigerian people are still asking for aid, food, shelter and jobs. One local resident summed it up this way, the government steals oil, the politicians steal oil, so we steal oil.