The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has commenced oil exploration activities in the Bida Basin involving eight local government areas in Niger state, assuring that the progress being recorded in the ongoing exploration of inland basins by the Corporation was capable of growing the country ’s crude oil reserve to 40 billion barrels by year 2023.
The NNPC’s Group Managing Director (GMD) Malam Mele Kolo Kyari stated this on Wednesday during his courtesy call on the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello to unveil the 2D seismic data acquisition in the Bida, Sokoto basin.
Represented by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services, Abdullahi Bomai, the GMD said, “an in-depth geological and geochemical studies showed that there are strong hydrocarbon bearing indicators that have been confirmed as oil and gas bearing formations in the eight local government areas of the state, which extends to two other local governments in Kwara state and one in Kogi state”.
He said, “further exploration activities based on the need for exploration in the Bida Basin, NNPC management has graciously approved the award of contract to Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) and their alliance partners (BGP/CNPC International Nigeria limited to embark on immediate Seismic Data Acquisition to further unravel the presence of hydrocarbons in the Bida Basin.
Accordingly, he said, “we are indeed delighted for the opportunity of today’s visit to inform His Excellency, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of the activities of NNPC/FES and also to solicit for your support”.
According to Kyari, significant progress was being made in the ongoing exploration of inland basins, with a realistic and achievable target of growing the nation’s reserve to 40 million by the year 2023 stressing that, “today we are glad to inform you of the commencement of hydrocarbon exploration in the sedimentary section of Niger state”.
He thereby solicited for the support, cooperation and participation of the state and local governments, traditional rulers and community leaders in Niger state towards achieving the national mandate, emphasizing that the deployment of light and heavy machinery will soon commence in the state.
He listed the local government areas where exploration activities will commence to include: Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai, adding that in the course of conducting these operations, a lot of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers will be engaged.
In his response, the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello expressed happiness over the realization of the project, stressing the need for the Corporation to pay adequate compensation to the people who would be affected by the exploration.
He said, “we are all excited over the good news of the oil exploration. As you know, research in the development of the Bida Basin has been on for some times. We are, however, happy that the NNPC is seeing to the success of the project. We are hopeful that Niger state will soon join the league of oil-producing states in Nigeria ”.
He said his administration will work with NNPC to ensure that communities were carried along and to compensate adequately communities which were going to be affected the oil exploration activities.