Photojournalist Samuel James's photographs from the Niger Delta region bring to light the hidden and perilous world of illegal oil trading. Oil-rich Nigeria produces the most oil of any African country, yet struggles with widespread poverty and corruption. "Faced with limited options in a ravaged landscape," James says, "many people living within the creeks of the Niger Delta are risking everything, including the future of the river upon which their lives depend, to survive."
In this image, shot in a dying swamp forest in the Niger Delta, a worker pours crude on a fire to begin the refining process. Entire camps often explode when the fumes produced during the refining process catch fire. The workers cook under the cover of night to evade authorities tracking the smoke from their operations.