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Latest update : 2012-04-27

Black gold brings hope to French Guiana

French Guiana, an overseas department bordering Brazil, is one of France's poorest regions, where unemployment is at a record level. But with oil being discovered, locals are starting to hope for a better life. Will they benefit from the black gold?

Right in the middle of the economic crisis, oil companies Tullow Oil, Shell and Total announced in September 2011 they had discovered an oilfield 150 kilometres off the coast of French Guiana. The find was described as "significant" and "historic".

It is indeed highly relevant for the population of one of the country's poorest areas, and also means France as a nation could become the world’s third or even second oil producer in 15 years’ time, when new sources of oil are expected to be of worldwide importance.

Where is this oilfield? What is happening on the rig today? How much oil is there? What is at stake? What are the environmental risks? And how is all this going down with the local population and the politicians?

Our reporter Nicolas Ransom went to find out more.

By Nicolas RANSOM

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2016-12-01 Asia-pacific

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

Uzbekistan is holding a presidential election on Sunday that is going largely unnoticed abroad. The successor to the late president, Islam Karimov, who held power for more than a...

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2016-11-25 Americas

Video: Venezuela close to breaking point

As Venezuela sinks deeper into political crisis, its economy is close to collapse. With hyperinflation, food shortages, malnutrition and extreme poverty, daily life for...

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2016-11-18 paedophilia

Tracking a Church paedophilia case from Dakar to Quebec

Following a series of paedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church in recent years, FRANCE 24 reporters investigated the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic religious...

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2016-11-11 Iraq

Video: The journalists on the frontline in Iraq

Journalists embedded with the Iraqi army on the frontline battling the Islamic State group risk their lives every day to report on this must-crucial of wars. FRANCE 24’s team on...

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2016-11-04 USA

Is the US overdosing on oil?

The oil industry has become an issue of debate in the US presidential election. While Republican candidate Donald Trump promises to extract even more oil and natural gas,...

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