A Second to Midnight, a Friday Play on BBC Radio 4, is a contemporary thriller set in the oil fields of the Niger Delta.
Western governments, oil companies and business analysts have long predicted that the 'peak', when oil reserves become finite and the markets begin to panic, is as far away as 2030. However, Rob Turner, oil company geologist, has just uncovered that the peak is not tomorrow. It was yesterday.
In his private life, Rob had a secret affair a few years ago with Geraldine, the wife of a good friend, Henry – the Deputy British Ambassador in Nigeria. Liz, Rob's wife, never found out but his daughter, Helen, did. It damaged the relationship between father and daughter for good and is still a source of unspoken conflict for them. Liz and Rob are in the middle of an argument when Henry rings from Lagos. Helen has been killed in a car crash in the Nigerian Delta.
Rob travels to Nigeria to bring Helen's body back, but discovers there is no body and the facts surrounding Helen's accident don't seem to add up. And there are more surprises. Unbeknown to her parents, Helen recently married Kolo Djouba, an environmental activist and chair of the Ogoni people's liberation front.
Playwrights: Christopher Reason and Andrew Walker
Directors: Gary Brown and Susan Roberts
A Second to Midnight was first broadcast on 13 and 20 July 2007. Energy Bulletin said A Second to Midnight was 'the first time peak oil and the associated geo-political issues have been addressed in a radio play on the UK's most important speech and news station.'