BETWATA - In a mountainous stretch of small villages where ExxonMobil has contracted to explore for oil and gas, Saifullah Hamad Mustafa stood over a small shallow hole in which dynamite would soon explode, creating the vibrations needed to analyze geological structures thousands of meters below.
"I hope they don't find oil here, because if they do, they will spoil the environment and want to kick people out," said Mustafa, a member of the local council of Betwata, a picturesque hillside village of around 60 families that gives the exploration block its name. "The village could die. Oil is not a blessing here."
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