NNPC Awaits Security Clearance to Resume Oil Search in Chad Basin

Maikanti Baru

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to resume oil search in the Chad Basin as soon as it receives security clearance, according to the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru.

Baru, while hosting the Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, who visited him in Abuja, said the corporation had not foreclosed a further search for oil in the area.

“We will go back there as soon as we receive security clearance. There seems to be some prospects there because Niger Republic drilled over 600 wells and now they are producing while we have only drilled 23,” Baru said.

He commended the people of Bauchi and Gombe States, especially communities in the exploration area, for their support and hospitality, while assuring them of NNPC’s support in the provision of infrastructure and amenities.

On the proposed Institute of Petroleum Studies to be established in Bauchi State University, Baru pledged the support of NNPC and assured the governor of synergy between the institution and the Petroleum Training Institute, Warri, for exchange programmes and manpower development.

Earlier, Mohammed had said his visit was to seek collaboration with the corporation on how to develop the state.

“We are happy that we have some hydrocarbon not only in Bauchi but also in Gombe both in the Gongola Basin, and we are totally committed to the exploration activities of the NNPC in the area,” the governor added.

Oil search in the Chad Basin was suspended after a team of NNPC Frontier Exploration Services and their consultants from the University of Maiduguri, were attacked and some of them abducted on July 25, 2017.

Before the suspension of the exploration, the corporation had planned to drill four oil wells each in Chad and Gongola Basins.

The four wells would be drilled in the areas the corporation had acquired 1,961 square kilometres of 3D seismic data out of the planned 3,550 square kilometres.
NNPC also planned to go deeper into the Maiduguri sub-basin to acquire more 3D seismic data as soon as normalcy returns to the Chad Basin.

But while waiting for normalcy to return to the Chad Basin, the state-run oil firm has stepped up efforts in the lower Benue Trough, with the acquisition of 20 kilometres of 2D data out of the planned 455 km 2D seismic data.

On the Gongola Basin, four wells are to be drilled to further test the prospects identified around the Kolmani River-1, Nasara-1 and Kuzari-1 in 2018.