Uncertainty, hope trail oil search in North-east
Crude oil search in the Lake Chad area of North-east Nigeria suffered another major blow recently but geologists are optimistic that the setback is just temporary, our reporter writes. Prospecting Licenses military authorities, (OPL) granted by the guaranteeing the safety federal government of its personnel and around communities in operations. Gubio LGA, Kukawa LGA, “Certainly, we will Abadam LGA all in Borno not go back unless State. But the project they give us clearance; could not proceed in just like we did not go November 2014, because in before they gave us insurgency forced them clearance. Provided they to close down operations. are sufficient security
Specifically, on the clearance, I don’t see why 25th of November, we would not continue 2014 before the 2015 to push,” he said. presidential election, Experts say the Phase 08 of the JV suspension of 109 operations were exploration in the Lake suspended following Chad no doubt will security report on slow down the country’s impending insurgency efforts to expand the attacks on Gubio town. frontiers of its basins.
Personnel and Renowned professor equipment were of geology and Vice evacuated to Maiduguri President of Nigerian while the crew and Academy of Science, workers were directed to Mosto Onuoha said it leave until the situation was sad that the incident normalized. happened at a time
According to the country has found sources, another major the more prospective problem that affected sections of the basin. seismic activities, was “But I believe it is a dealing with issues temporary setback,” of compensation for Mosto who is also the farmers or communities PTDF Chair of Petroleum for unavoidable damages Geology at the University to their farmlands in the of Nigeria Nsukka said. cause of clearing through “It is not really seismic lines. It was also a setback because learnt that leadership we are still far from and boundary issues getting oil from there. in some communities So, it is not going to before the JV 109 affect our revenue operations commenced today ortomorrow,” ignited concerns on the he added, referring to progress of the work the implication of the on site. These issues suspension on Nigeria’s prompted a meeting oil export. of the Management of Mosto said, “This IDSL/BGP/CNPC JV 109 matter will soon go away and communities in and once the security Gubio LGA in 2014 where agencies give clearance, an MOU was signed. we will just move on. Nobody can say how soon though.”
Also commenting, a research professor with the Centre for Energy Research and Training, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Prof. B.B Muhammad Dewu said that the attack was unfortunate development now that the country is making effort to boost its reserves.
“But it is something we will get over. It should not deter the government, it is something that has to continue,” he said
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi has also firmly declared the university’s resolve not to ‘’Chicken out’’ from the venture describing the attack as a necessary sacrifice for the development of the country.
The quest to strike oil in commercial quantity in the Lake Chad area of Northeast Nigeria recently suffered a major blow following the attack on workers exploring for oil in the area.
The attack, which led to the death of at least 48 people, came less than one year after President Muhammadu Buhari directed the NNPC to resume exploration activities in the inland basins, particularly the Chad Basin and the Benue Trough.
A past of setbacks
Previous search for oil in the Lake Chad area in North-east Nigeria had suffered stoppages due to the volatile security in the region.
The latest attack came despite the adequate security clearance obtained from the military authorities before exploration work resumed. The day of the attack was supposed to be last day of the operation by the team.
Before the renewed search began, seismic data gathering operations for the project in the Chad Basin which started in 2010 was suspended in 2014 at the heat of the insurgency in the region.
Sources involved in the project told Daily Trust that NNPC officials and external consultants for the project had stayed away from site since 2014 to await security clearance from the military that was handed a December 2015 presidential deadline flush out Boko Haram.
The Integrated Data Services Limited (a subsidiary of the NNPC) had entered into a joint venture with the Bureau for Geophysical Prospecting (a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation CNPC) for the Chad Basin 3D-Prospect, also known as JV 109 to acquire the 3D data for NNPC.
Project documents seen by our reporter showed that the Seismic Data acquisition was to be done for the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) on behalf of the NNPC in accordance with the terms of the Oil
No going back
The latest halt on oil search in the region after the ambush on workers exploring for oil has further cast more veil of uncertainty on even exploration at other inland sedimentary basins.
Group General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services (FES) of the NNPC Dr Mazadu D. Bako had told Daily Trust in March 2017 that the corporation’s plan was to commence drilling for oil this August. It is now very unclear if this will still take place.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Mr Ibe Kachikwu, while giving an update on the matter said that NNPC would only resume the search if it got sufficient assurance and security clearance from the