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About this series
The fate of Africa's huge crude oil reserves is important not just for Africans, but also for Americans, who use millions of barrels of oil imported from Africa every day. In this three-part series, the Globe's Africa bureau chief, John Donnelly, examines the issue.
Q&A summary of the series
Q: Why is African oil attractive?
Because it is mostly "sweet" crude, with low sulphur content, which is easier and cheaper to refine into gasoline or other products. Also, transportation costs are lower from Africa than from the Middle East because it’s closer to the US East Coast.  Read more

Burdens of oil weigh on Nigerians

(By John Donnelly, Globe Staff, 10/3/05)
Thirty percent of the world's newly discovered oil reserves come from Africa's west coast. But in the serpentine creeks and boggy coast lie daunting obstacles to the promise of oil revenue -- pirates, corruption, violent youth militias, and environmental catastrophes.
Obedum, Nigeria
A young girl looks skyward in Obedum, Nigeria, where two oil spills have polluted the water. Behind her, a woman walks away with a bucket of the contaminated water. (Globe Photo / John Donnelly)

In oil-rich nation, charges of skimming

(By John Donnelly, Globe Staff, 11/25/05)
Resource riches could help West Africa climb out of poverty by funding better education, healthcare, roads, and other essential services. But financial specialists warn that billions could simply disappear into the web of skimming and self-dealing.
Yuri Domingos looks over skyline of Luanda, Angole
Yuri Domingos, 20, looks over the Angolan capital's skyline. Domingos had to drop out of school in the 5th grade because his family couldn't afford it. (Globe Photo / John Donnelly)

Oil wealth helping few of Angola's poor

(By John Donnelly, Globe Staff, 12/11/05)
Because of wars, dictatorships, and thieves, Angola and other oil-rich African nations have failed so far to turn their natural wealth into better lives for their citizens.
 Price rise and new deep-water technology opened up offshore drilling
oil rig off Angola
An ExxonMobil technician helps a helicopter land atop the Kizomba B platform off Angola, which is three football fields long and pumps out 250,000 barrels a day. (Globe Photo / John Donnelly)
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