Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday disclosed that it would invite investors to participate in its search for oil in seven inland basins of Nigeria, and was developing modalities for this.
Its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed that as part of strategies to build up Nigeria’s oil reserve base, the corporation would revive exploratory activities in the seven hydrocarbon basins in the country with prospective investors’ participation.
Baru, according to a statement from NNPC’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, disclosed this to the Governor of Yobe State, Mr. Ibrahim Geidam, during his visit to him yesterday at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
He said as part of efforts to increase the speed of exploratory activities in the basins, the modalities would be developed to open them up to prospective investors.
“We are on target and we are looking at the prospectivity of the whole basins of Niger Delta, Chad, Anambra, Benue Trough, Benin, Sokoto and Bida. We are focused on delivering on these basins in line with our mandate,” Baru said.
He further stated that preliminary exploratory activities had indicated some signs of hydrocarbon in eastern Yobe on the Chad Basin, adding that once NNPC get security clearance from the Nigerian military, acquisition of 3D seismic data in the area would be revived.
Baru, also noted that modern technology would be deployed in the exploration of the Yobe section of the Chad Basin, just the way it was deployed in the Borno side of the Chad basin.
He stated that exploratory activities executed in the Benue Trough in the 1990s had indicated the existence of hydrocarbon in the region, and that attempts which were made under Production Sharing Contract (PSC) arrangements had involved Shell, Chevron and Agip, which had drilled a well each in the region.
He explained the NNPC had already identified some leads and prospects that would be tested through drilling ahead of the resumption of the Chad Basin exploratory activities.
Similarly, the statement quoted Geidam, to have said his visit was informed by the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to increase Nigeria’s oil reserves through the exploration of the Chad Basin.
He stated the oil search policy of the government was of interest to Yobe because the Chad basin covered a large area that included it.
“My visit is a follow-up to our request on exploration of oil in the Yobe section of Chad Basin. The assurance which you gave that the exploration for hydrocarbon deposits in part of Yobe State was being considered has reinforced our resolve to work with you on diversifying the sources of national economy for improved revenue generation,” said Geidam, in the statement.