Shattered Sudan | Drilling for Oil, Hoping for Peace, National Geographic: Sudan Oil Fields | War Refugee Serves Tea | Southern Sudan

Sudan Oil Fields | War Refugee Serves Tea | Southern Sudan

Sudan Oil Fields | War Refugee Serves Tea | Southern Sudan

There are little encampments of refugees living around Rig 15 and moving with it as it moves.  These refugees are mostly women living under scraps of plastic with a pot to boil water and 3 or 4 tea glasses.  The try to make a little money by selling tea to the oil workers.

It’s a long story, but basically the Chinese kicked us out of here and this photograph is the result of convincing a really scary security guy (emotionless, unhelpful, uncaring goon who I am sure was part of the “ghost house” era) to get up at 3am, drive hours on pounding rough roads back to Rig 15 where I was able to photograph for about 15 minutes at dawn before we drove yet more pounding hours back so we could be kicked out on the morning flight.

From the journal:

Then we move to a portable drilling platform with Nuer and Dinka roughnecks who are really nice folks.  There’s also a 26-year-old Canadian driller working the crew on the platform—he is very talkative and his little room is full of weights and Maxim magazines.

These workers have shifts of 28 days on and 28 days off.  When the Dinkas go back to their villages, they have to take back routes so the soldiers don’t steal their supplies.  Someone took this white kids boots—turned out to be a soldier.  They stripped the soldier naked and marched him off into the woods at gunpoint.  The kid never saw the soldier again, but he did hear shots in the woods.  At night he sits around with the African roughnecks trying to make conversation, but they know so little English and he doesn’t know any of their tribal languages.  This platform can be put up in 24 hours.  It is 50 semi trailers of stuff—they’ve been drilling for five days and have four more to go in this spot.  Then they pack the whole platform and move again.  This rig is called “Rig 15” and there are little encampments of refugees living around it and moving with it as it moves.  These refugees are mostly women living under scraps of plastic with a pot to boil water and 3 or 4 tea glasses – they try to make a little money by selling tea to the oil workers.

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