Buhari flags off crude oil exploration in Bauchi

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday flagged-off the official commencement of crude oil search in the Kolmani Well River-II, located near Barambu, Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

Buhari also declared that the Federal Government would intensify oil exploration efforts in all frontier basins including Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Anambra Basin, Sokoto Basin, Dahomey Basin, Bida Basin and Benue Trough.

The President said the exploration for crude oil was part of his administration’s promise in terms of growing Nigeria’s economy, adding that the government had worked hard to fulfill its promises.

Buhari said, “When we came onboard in May 2015, we promised to focus on three cardinal areas of security, economy and the fight against corruption. We have worked hard to fulfill our promises and have succeeded in laying the foundation for a strong, virile and prosperous Nigeria through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

“A key execution priority of the ERGP is ensuring national energy sufficiency and this cannot be achieved through hydrocarbon resources from the conventional basins alone. Therefore, exploration in our frontier basins is a national imperative and a core policy thrust that must be sustained.”

He added, “It is on this note that I directed the NNPC to aggressively intensify its exploration campaign in the inland basins to discover new hydrocarbon reserves that will boost oil and gas production and extend economic benefits to the people within the North-East and the nation at large.

“This is a landmark of the promise kept by this administration to the Nigerian people. Our next level is to ensure that exploration efforts in all our frontier basins, namely Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Anambra Basin, Sokoto Basin, Dahomey Basin, Bida Basin and Benue Trough are intensified to usher in prospects for more prosperous Nigeria.”

Buhari told guests at the event that oil and gas resources remained critical to Nigeria’s economic diversification moves.

He pledged to fully support the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the exploration for crude oil in the Kolmani Well River-II, as oil was still very critical to the country’s economy.

Buhari said, “Oil and gas remain critical to Nigeria’s economy of today and the future. It remains key to the successful implementation of our budget at all levels of government.

“The gains of high oil prices may not be here now but oil and gas resources still remain the most immediate practical key to our aggressive efforts at diversifying the economy.”

The President added, “As important as it is to ensure that other critical sectors of the economy are supported to grow and contribute more to the nation’s economy, we still need a virile oil and gas industry to take care of the challenges of the moment and to invest for the future.

“I pledge my full commitment to this important national inheritance and to our journey to building a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria.”

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, explained that the journey to Friday’s spud-in of the Kolmani River-II Well commenced in the 1990s when oil exploration in the Gongola Basin, Upper Benue Trough, by the international oil companies led to the finding of 146 feet of hydrocarbon sand in Kolmani River-I Well Prospect estimated to contain about 33 billion standard cubic feet of gas.

He, however, noted that the IOCs did not investigate deep targets as their drilling was based on 2D seismic data.

“But consequent upon the directives of the President on reserves, the NNPC prioritised exploration efforts in the frontier basins in an effort to increase the country’s oil and gas reserves base and production,” Baru said.