Edition:
United States
Pictures | Tue Jan 15, 2013 | 7:38am EST

Nigeria's oil thieves say government leaves them no choice

Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. Locals in the industry say workers can earn $50 to $60 a day. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. Locals in the industry say workers can earn...more

Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. Locals in the industry say workers can earn $50 to $60 a day. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
1 / 21
A man collects polluted water at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man collects polluted water at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man collects polluted water at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
2 / 21
A man named Godswill works at an illegal oil refinery site, where steam rises from pipes carrying refined oil from a burner into broken containers, near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man named Godswill works at an illegal oil refinery site, where steam rises from pipes carrying refined oil from a burner into broken containers, near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man named Godswill works at an illegal oil refinery site, where steam rises from pipes carrying refined oil from a burner into broken containers, near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
3 / 21
Plates used by labourers lie on the ground at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Plates used by labourers lie on the ground at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Plates used by labourers lie on the ground at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
4 / 21
Ebiowei, 48, carries refined oil in buckets at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Ebiowei, 48, carries refined oil in buckets at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Ebiowei, 48, carries refined oil in buckets at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
5 / 21
A man named Godswill collects crude oil from a mini storage unit filled with oil, which is waiting to be refined at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man named Godswill collects crude oil from a mini storage unit filled with oil, which is waiting to be refined at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man named Godswill collects crude oil from a mini storage unit filled with oil, which is waiting to be refined at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
6 / 21
Men work at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Men work at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Men work at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
7 / 21
A passenger speedboat churns up the water, while in the background an illegal oil refinery is left burning after a military chase had occurred earlier in a windy creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A passenger speedboat churns up the water, while in the background an illegal oil refinery is left burning after a military chase had occurred earlier in a windy creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012....more

A passenger speedboat churns up the water, while in the background an illegal oil refinery is left burning after a military chase had occurred earlier in a windy creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
8 / 21
A warning sign belonging to the company Royal Dutch Shell is seen along the Nembe creek in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A warning sign belonging to the company Royal Dutch Shell is seen along the Nembe creek in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A warning sign belonging to the company Royal Dutch Shell is seen along the Nembe creek in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
9 / 21
A young woman named Akpomene is pictured coated in oil stains as she sits in a canoe near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A young woman named Akpomene is pictured coated in oil stains as she sits in a canoe near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A young woman named Akpomene is pictured coated in oil stains as she sits in a canoe near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
10 / 21
A crude oil refinery worker stands in front of a locally made burner in an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa, November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A crude oil refinery worker stands in front of a locally made burner in an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa, November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A crude oil refinery worker stands in front of a locally made burner in an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa, November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
11 / 21
Refinery workers are reflected in polluted stagnant water at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Refinery workers are reflected in polluted stagnant water at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Refinery workers are reflected in polluted stagnant water at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
12 / 21
A worker pours crude oil into a locally made burner using a funnel at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 25, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A worker pours crude oil into a locally made burner using a funnel at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 25, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A worker pours crude oil into a locally made burner using a funnel at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 25, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
13 / 21
A man works at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man works at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man works at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
14 / 21
A man working at an illegal oil refinery site pours oil under a locally made burner to keep the fire going, near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man working at an illegal oil refinery site pours oil under a locally made burner to keep the fire going, near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man working at an illegal oil refinery site pours oil under a locally made burner to keep the fire going, near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
15 / 21
A locally made boat containing crude oil is manned through a creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A locally made boat containing crude oil is manned through a creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A locally made boat containing crude oil is manned through a creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
16 / 21
A man and his son walk through polluted farmland in the Kalaba community in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 26, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man and his son walk through polluted farmland in the Kalaba community in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 26, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man and his son walk through polluted farmland in the Kalaba community in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 26, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
17 / 21
Smoke rises as an illegal oil refinery is burnt after a military chase in a creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Smoke rises as an illegal oil refinery is burnt after a military chase in a creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Smoke rises as an illegal oil refinery is burnt after a military chase in a creek near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
18 / 21
Ebiowei, 48, pours water to reduce the intensity of the fire in a locally made burner at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Ebiowei, 48, pours water to reduce the intensity of the fire in a locally made burner at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Ebiowei, 48, pours water to reduce the intensity of the fire in a locally made burner at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
19 / 21
A man works at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa, November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man works at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa, November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A man works at an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa, November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
20 / 21
Ebiowei, 48, drags a hose used to help siphon crude oil in an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Ebiowei, 48, drags a hose used to help siphon crude oil in an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Ebiowei, 48, drags a hose used to help siphon crude oil in an illegal oil refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Close
21 / 21

Next Slideshows

Inauguration dress rehearsal

Actors portray President Obama, the First Lady, Joe and Jill Biden during a dress rehearsal ahead of the January 21 presidential inauguration.

Jan 14 2013

Australian wildfires

More than 140 fires are burning across vast areas in New South Wales state and Tasmania.

Jan 14 2013

Teachers-only gun training

A group of teachers take a free firearms training class in Florida.

Jan 14 2013

Smog over Beijing

Recent air quality in Beijing is far above hazardous levels.

Jan 14 2013

MORE IN PICTURES

First 100 days of Trump

First 100 days of Trump

Major moments from the first days of the Trump administration.

Volunteers feed Venezuela's poor

Volunteers feed Venezuela's poor

Citizens assemble and distribute meals to the poor in Venezuela, in the fourth year of a crushing recession that has forced many to skip meals and jostle for scarce subsidized food.

Shooting outside UK parliament

Shooting outside UK parliament

Five people were killed and about 40 injured in London after a car ploughed into pedestrians and an attacker stabbed a policeman close to the British parliament.

World Water Day

World Water Day

A look at the world's relationship with water on World Water Day on March 22.

Floods, landslides spread havoc in Peru

Floods, landslides spread havoc in Peru

Severe droughts give way to some of the country's most devastating downpours in decades.

Persian New Year

Persian New Year

Followers of the Persian calendar celebrate Newroz, marking the arrival of spring and the new year.

Drones in the sky

Drones in the sky

The varied roles of drones.

Welcoming spring

Welcoming spring

Celebrating the spring equinox and the end of winter.

Banksy hotel opens to guests

Banksy hotel opens to guests

The first guests arrive at Banksy's Walled Off Hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Newer Slideshows Older Slideshows

Trending Collections

Pictures