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Oil discovered in Burkina Faso? No, video shows sewage spill in US

IN SHORT: Social media posts claiming oil has been discovered in the West African country of Burkina Faso are false. The video shared as proof shows a sewage spill.

A video of a pool of dark liquid bubbling up from a hole in a trench dug by an earth-mover is circulating on social media with the claim it shows crude oil discovered in the West African country of Burkina Faso in January 2024.

Almost all of the video’s captions read: “Crude oil has been discovered in Burkina Faso. What are your thoughts on this?”

Burkina Faso is a small country to the west of oil-rich Nigeria. But it does not produce oil, and is said to have no oil reserves.

Does the video really show a recent discovery of crude oil in Burkina Faso?


‘We wish that was oil!’

A Google Lens search of frames from the video led Africa Check to the original video, a Facebook reel posted by a plumbing company in the northern US state of Minnesota on 4 January.

Its caption reads: “We wish that was oil! We replaced this sewer this past week that was packed full of tree roots and had 4 patches in the 6” [inch] clay piping. It went well and we were all backfilled by about 12.30pm!”

The bubbling liquid in the video is not oil discovered in Burkina Faso. It’s sewage escaping from a blocked sewer in the US.

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