How non-Africans make huge profits from Africa’s oil

How non-Africans make huge profits from Africa’s oil

Big Men

By Mark Jenkins

There are three categories of schemers in Big Men, Rachel Boynton’s illuminating documentary about the oil business in West Africa: businessmen, politicians and bandits. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to tell the types apart.

Filmed over about five years, the movie follows the seesawing fortunes of Kosmos Energy, a small Dallas oil company. Small, that is, by the standards of ExxonMobil, the massive firm that briefly enters the story as a potential partner. At one of its high points, Kosmos was valued at $6 billion, which is enough money to attract attention, especially in an impoverished land.

Kosmos’ principal asset is a lease for Jubilee Field, an oil reserve off the coast of previously undrilled Ghana. When Boynton’s tale opens in 2007, oil futures are regularly hitting new highs, and Kosmos CEO Jim Musselman is on great terms with his well-connected Ghanaian intermediary, George Owusu.

That connection is necessary because Ghana’s oil officially belongs to the country. Such a system can work if the government does. At a conference hosted by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Norway’s oil minister explains how his country claims much of oil drillers’ profits for the public good.

Video: Big Men – Trailer – POV 2014 | PBS
A documentary about an American oil company’s involvement in Ghana from executive producer Brad Pitt

Video Link: ABC/Yahoo News interviews Rachel Boynton
See how deals are made with Ghana’s Asante/Ashanti kings

A new documentary juxtaposes the story of a U.S. oil company in its venture to reap profit from an oil field it discovered off the coast of Ghana with the tale of Nigeria’s oil industry. In telling the story, “Big Men” director Rachel Boynton takes her audience from the boardroom negotiations of U.S.-based Kosmos Energy to the boats of militant groups in Nigeria, as they try to claim a piece of the Niger Delta’s vast petroleum riches.

New York, NY, IFC Center
Dallas, TX, Angelika Dallas
Plano, TX, Angelika Plano
Los Angeles, CA, Sundance Theater
Washington, DC, E Street Theater


April 5 & 6: Portland, OR Hollywood Theatre
April 18: Chicago, IL, Facets Cinémathèque
April 18: Seattle, WA, Sundance Cinemas
May 9: Santa Fe, NM, Center for Contemporary Arts
May 23: Lincoln, NE, Mary Riepma Ross Media Center

WINNER- Grand Jury Prize

International Environmental Film Festival (FIFE), Paris France

WINNER – International Green Film Award 2014

Cinema For Peace

Official website

Big Men

Big Men
Video: New oil discoveries discovered in Africa
Rolake Akinkugbe, ‎Head of Energy, Oil and Gas Research at Ecobank, speaks with Bloomberg’s Nejra Cehic about shale oil and gas production increases, new oil and gas listings and the significance of new oil discoveries discovered in Africa.

Controversial oil drilling in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Virunga National Park (French: Parc National des Virunga) is located in the far eastern side of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s home to a greater variety of wildlife than any other protected area in Africa, but oil exploration could start soon.

In 2010 British oil company SOCO International PLC planned to explore for oil in the Virunga National Park.

In late 2013 UK government, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mark Simmonds reiterated that the country is against SOCO’s oil activities in area.

SOCO continues with its exploration.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

SOCO Block V


SOCO Block V

Video: Virunga – Africa’s Most Beautiful and Diverse Oil Field

Video: AFRICA- America’s New Oil Target
National Security- US AFRICOM, China, India and the European Union

Video: Can Oil, Gas and Minerals Fuel Development in Africa?
School of Public Policy-Central European University
Recent discoveries of oil and gas reserves in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique have the potential to greatly transform economies in East Africa.


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