Black Gold

US Geological Survey

MAPPED OUT: Africa's recoverable crude oil reserves may be increasingly important

The sleepy tropical island city of Malabo had hardly changed in years. The capital of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny West African nation of fewer than 500,000 people, consisted of little more than some moldering Spanish colonial buildings, a few palm-lined plazas and the tightly packed shanty towns which encircle most African settlements. Its one claim to fame was that novelist Frederick Forsyth lived there while he wrote his military thriller The Dogs of War. But over the past three years, Malabo has been transformed. Office buildings have shot up, hotels and banks have opened, and foreigners — once a novelty in...

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