In­se­cu­rity stalling oil ex­plo­ration in Chad Basin, says NNPC

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Ab­dul­ga­niu Alabi, Kaduna

THenige­rian Na­tional Pe­tro­leum Cor­po­ra­tion (NNPC) has said that, there is prospect in the ex­plo­ration of oil in the Chad Basin, but se­cu­rity chal­lenge has been the ma­jor im­ped­i­ment to the suc­cess of the project. The Gen­eral Man­ager, Fron­tier Ex­plo­ration Ser­vices of NNPC, Dr. Mazadu Bako, stated this dur­ing the 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the De­part­ment of Ge­ol­ogy, Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.

Bako in his key­note ad­dress said: “As we speak, plans are at the ad­vance stage. Se­cu­rity is a ma­jor chal­lenge in the Chad basin ex­plo­ration and the north­east in gen­eral. If the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion was not the way it is by to­day, our lo­ca­tions for drilling would have been on­go­ing in con­struc­tion.”

Rep­re­sented by the Deputy Man­ager, Benue Through Op­er­a­tions of NNPC, Alex Tarka, said the De­part­ment of Ge­ol­ogy, ABU has geo-sci­en­tists who have con­trib­uted im­mensely to the Nige­ria ex­trac­tion in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to him: “NNPC up­stream as the arm that car­ries out pe­tro­leum ex­plo­ration ac­tiv­i­ties is a ben­e­fi­ciary of the con­tri­bu­tion of the de­part­ment of ge­ol­ogy of this in­sti­tu­tion, as many of its grad­u­ates have worked or are still work­ing in the MPDC, the E and P arm of the NNPC lo­cated in Benin City, In­te­grated data ser­vices, the seis­mic arm of the NNPC. “Let us take a quick look at NNPC ex­plo­ration ef­fort in some in­land basins in Nige­ria, start­ing with the Chad basin, be­tween 1976 and 1996, a to­tal of 33 thou­sand kilo­me­ters of 2D seis­mic data were ac­quired, pro­cessed and in­ter­preted, which led to the drilling of three wells in the Chad basin.

“I have the hon­our to let my de­part­ment know that as at 1992, I was one of the ge­ol­o­gists in one of the wells. Only two out of the 21 wells, the Uwadi and Ki­nasa recorded non-com­mer­cial gas while the other 21 had drive from 2008 to 2017. Just last year, a to­tal of 1, 962.20 square kilo­me­ters of 3D seis­mic data were ac­quired, pro­cessed and in­ter­preted and prospects have been iden­ti­fied. Plans to com­mence drilling of the ma­tured prospects have com­menced.’’

In his re­marks, the Vice Chan­cel­lor, Pro­fes­sor Ibrahim Garba called for more in­vest­ment in the min­ing sec­tor. Ac­cord­ing to him, for the fact that Nige­ria is blessed with abun­dant nat­u­ral re­sources does not trans­late to see­ing them de­vel­oped on their own with­out com­mis­er­ate in­vest­ment and com­mit­ment on the part of govern­ment for its uti­liza­tion.

Garba added, “re­sources will al­ways be there in the ground for ge­ol­o­gists to ex­hume, but the other re­quire­ment that the coun­try must have in other to pro­mote the devel­op­ment of the re­sources must be there. We need govern­ment’s com­mit­ment and in­vest­ment. “The re­sources that we ben­e­fit to­day has been prod­uct of very hard work over a long pe­riod of tremen­dous in­vest­ment, so if we want to con­tinue to ben­e­fit from the abun­dant min­eral re­source we have, we must work hard, we must in­vest and then de­velop the re­sources for the fu­ture.”

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