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The Week Unwrapped: Nigerian gas, female exercise and a new Saudi city

Could Nigeria step in to fill the Russian energy gap? Why are British women reluctant to get fit? And what can we expect from a solar-powered city in the desert?

Arion McNicoll and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Nigerian gas

As Europe prepares for a winter without Russian gas, the EU is investigating whether Nigeria could help to fill the gap. The largest oil producer in Africa is planning to re-open a long-distance pipeline next month which could make that possible. But safety and security in the Niger Delta are likely to remain a major obstacle to reliable gas exports.

A city in the desert

Saudi Arabia has announced ambitious plans to build a brand new city in the desert. The unique settlement, intended to house nine million people, will consist of a single, mirror-clad building more than 100 miles long and taller than the Empire State Building, yet only 220 yards wide. It will also run entirely on solar energy. Is this a bold new approach to sustainability from the oil giant? Or a mere PR exercise?

Women and exercise 

This week marked the release of a survey commissioned by the gym chain Nuffield Health which found that almost half of women in the UK have done no “vigorous exercise” – such as running, swimming, aerobics or gymnastics – in the past 12 months, compared with just over a third of men. What roles have both the pandemic and the patriarchy played in creating this so-called “gender fitness gap” – and what can be done to encourage more women to get moving? 

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