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A market without electricity in Ibafo, Ogun State, Nigeria in March.

A market without electricity in Ibafo, Ogun State, Nigeria in March.

  Photographer: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Europe’s Rush to Buy Africa’s Natural Gas Draws Cries of Hypocrisy

The EU wants to import as much African gas as it can, but doesn’t want to fund projects that would allow the world’s poorest continent to burn more of the fuel at home. 

Near the tip of Nigeria’s Bonny Island, an arrowhead speck of land where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Niger Delta, a giant plant last year produced enough liquefied natural gas to heat half the UK for the winter. Most of it was shipped out of the country, with Spain, France and Portugal the biggest buyers.

Just 17 miles away in the town of Bodo, residents still use black-market kerosene and diesel to light wood stoves and power electricity generators. The fuel is manufactured with crude stolen from the foreign energy giants — Shell, Eni and TotalEnergies — that co-own the Bonny Island facility along with the Nigerian government.