Nigerian oil production safe (for now)

In case you were waiting for the update, Nigerian oil production is reported to be safe now that the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force have ceased hostilities.
For me the real story is this: since so many oil bearing zones tend to be politically unstable, we have to factor this in when we talk about peak oil and truly available supply. We can't just talk about how much oil we can lift, but also about how much we are likely to see at refinery gates.

There is also an excellent reason why oil producing countries TEND to be politically unstable, and that is the standard theory, beloved of economists who specialize in LDCs, that deals with "dual economies." In oil producing regions (this follows for other minerals too, the oil case is just more spectacular) oil makes for the easiest money, and everyone wants some. The government gets control, and it is often just too tempting to sell access to the oil (corruption). Everyone wants to get close to the people who control the oil and fewer smart people start other kinds of businesses. Scarce resources get allocated to oil production and everything to do with it. The hard work of building an educated workforce, developing clean water and other public health basics, gets left undone. Hence the phrase "dual economy," which denotes a country with an ultramodern sector servicing extractive industries, overlaid on a poor third world economy that produces all the other goods and services. That is why oil is so often a curse as well as a blessing in LDCs around the world.

The article seems to state that the rebels would seem to have at least some legitimate complaints, and discontent won't go away. Anyone who knows anything about this issue at all, understands why in an instant.

Yes, we got a reprieve from possibly having to deal a shutdown in Nigeria on top of hurricane damage. If we are lucky Nigeria will stay quiet and the villagers in the Niger River Delta will suffer quietly for awhile longer. I wouldn't presume that the issue is settled, though.

British oil worker kidnapped in Nigeria -police
Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:33 PM BST9

WARRI, Nigeria (Reuters) - A British oil worker was kidnapped in Nigeria's restive southern delta on Wednesday night, police and diplomatic sources said on Thursday.

Another foreign oil worker was also abducted along with the Briton, but his nationality was not immediately clear and one security source said he may have escaped during the kidnapping.

"Two white men were taken from a beer parlour in Warri last night," the police source said. One of the hostages was a Briton, a diplomat said.