Resume oil search in Chad Basin, Buhari orders NNPC
The President, Muhammadu Buhari, has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to resume oil expedition and gas exploration activities in the inland frontier basins of Northern Nigeria, especially the Chad Basin and the Kolmani River in the Benue Trough.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, disclosed this, yesterday, when he received the Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, in his office in Abuja.
The NNPC, through its Frontier Exploration Services and Renewable Energy Division (FESRED), had progressed with seismic acquisition activities in the Chad Basin frontier area until insurgency forced it to suspend its operation there.
Baru said: “We have exploration activities on the frontier basin, that is in the Chad, and also there is some area close to the Kolmani River (Bauchi State) where Shell had made some indicative discovery of hydrocarbons and Mr President has directed me to go into that area to improve and further explore the magnitude and prospectivity of those finds.”
He said that the corporation would restrategise with a view to getting into those regions.
“We will reinvigorate the Frontier Exploration Services and see how they can collaborate with NNDC that is holding Block 809 where some of the finds have been found and also the DPR for the other blocks that have not been assigned,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Association of Inland Basin States of Northern Nigeria (APIBONN) has reiterated its call for a permanent or stand-alone agency to oversee exploration of new hydrocarbon deposits in the Frontier Basins in the North.
The Interim Executive Secretary of APIBONN, Engr. Yabagi Sani, said: “It is when you have somebody from the North as president, that is why you hear the NNPC talking about exploration in the North.
“We commend efforts of the governor and the GMD but that is not the solution. We are agitating for a permanent structure that will outlive this administration, like getting the National Assembly to quickly pass the bill on inland basin frontier agency into law, so that we will have a law that will compel whoever is the president, at any point in time, to continue with these efforts.”
Newly NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru received by President Muhammadu Buhari at the villa recently