Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has given reasons why it went back to search for oil in the Benue trough, saying that Total, Chevron and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) which had previously explored the region did not drill deep enough in their search for oil.
NNPC therefore said it was confident its aggressive exploration of the Benue trough and all other inland basins in the country would soon yield results with commercial hydrocarbon finds.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this yesterday when he received a delegation of executives of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) led by its President, Mr. Abidun Adesanya, in Abuja.
According to a statement from NNPCâ€™s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughammadu, Baru said preliminary results from the exploration activities in the inland basins so far had shown that there could be a commercial quantity of oil and gas finds soon in the Benue trough especially.
He said almost 400 square kilometer (400kmÂ²) of 3D seismic data had been acquired in the part of the Benue trough that was earlier explored by SNEPCO, while similar work would be extended to areas previously explored by Chevron and Total.
â€œWe are targeting these areas because we have seen that some of what they have done has some prospects, it is only that they did not drill deep enough. They also did not target the areas we believe, from the review of the seismic data, would have culminated into a find.
â€œSo, we are reinvigorating that and soon we are going to start drilling some of the leads that we have seen to ascertain what prospects there are. And as we have pointed out, there is an indication that we could find some hydrocarbon, we believe that in the nearest future hydrocarbon will be found in commercial quantity,â€ said Baru.
He also commended NAPE for its commitment to growing crude oil and gas reserves in Nigeria, adding that the resolutions from the associationâ€™s conference in 2016 gave great impetus to NNPCâ€™s aggressive exploration of the inland basins such as Anambra, Bida, Benue, Chad, Dahomey, Gongola, Sokoto in keeping with the mandate given to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Baru said he was ready to deploy capabilities within and outside NNPC to ensure success of the inland basins exploration campaign.
The statement also quoted Adesanya, to have commended Baru for what he said was a faithful implementation of the recommendations made at NAPEâ€™s conference in 2016 for exploration of the inland basins.
He said NAPE was very impressed with the professionalism being brought to bear on the exploration of the inland basins and that for the first time there was a steady and consistent approach to the campaign.