FG to Resume Oil Exploration in Lake Chad Basin

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Timipre Sylva

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

The federal government last Wednesday said the crude oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin will commence soon.

The oil exploration in the area was suspended by the Nigerian Government in July 2017 after suspected members of Boko Haram sect attacked a team of geological engineers from the University of Maiduguri who were engaged by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to carry out a survey of the Lake Chad region in Borno State towards the commencement of oil exploration.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, while addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting in Maiduguri with the military and chief executive officers in the oil sector, said the area is now peaceful enough to commence the oil exploration.

Sylvia said the relative peace in Borno State and the Lake Chad basin informed the decision to move in for exploration and drilling activities in the oil rich region.

According to him, “We are here to thank the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army for the great job they continue to perform in the North-east region. We believe that without their gallant activities here, we in Abuja would not be living safely. Having thanked the army, we also want to start exploration and drilling activities here because we believe that there is relative peace in the area.

“As you may know, we have found crude oil in Gombe State, and we believe that there is a lot of oil to be found in the Lake Chad Basin. We have seen a lot of prospects in the Chad Basin, and we want to commence exploration and drilling activities there, and that is why we are collaborating with the Nigerian army to ensure that security is provided for activities to commence very soon.”

The minister commended the sacrifice and gallantry of the Nigerian army in the fight against insurgency in the North-east region.

He also sought the collaboration of the Chief of Army Staff in providing adequate security to secure the installations and workers on the field.

The Minister of State for Petroleum was accompanied on the visit by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Alhaji Mele Kyari; Group General Manager Frontier Exploration Services, Abdullahi Bomai among other officers.