The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Big Oil is selling off its polluting assets - with unintended consequences

By Rachel Chason

27 Mar 2023 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

The world is grappling with climate change, and major oil companies are selling off polluting assets. The Post reports on the negative consequences for Nigerian communities left behind.

NEMBE, Nigeria - When Lambert Ogbari learned that the oil giant Shell was selling its local operations to a Nigerian firm, he said he felt hopeful his living conditions would finally improve. But he quickly noticed that maintenance on the oil wells surrounding his village had declined.

Then, one night, Ogbari woke up to a loud bang, followed by the smell of gas. Crude oil was shooting out of a well near his home with such force that people hundreds of yards away could hear the roar.

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