NNPC to Intensify Oil Search in North

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Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will continue its search for more crude oil in the north, despite recently discovering reserves of commercial quantity in the area, the corporation has said.

The national oil company said at the weekend that it is now seriously exploring the Kolmani River 111 area after its successful drilling of Kolmani 11, to increase the current 36 billion barrels reserves to at least 40 billion.

Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, told journalists in Abuja during an interactive session that the chances of finding oil in the area remains very high, adding that thereafter , the NNPC will re-launch its search in the Chad basin.

“In our core business, I did promise that we will boost exploration and production with a view to raising national reserves to 40 billion barrels and production to 3 million barrels per day. Much has been put in place to make these a reality.

“For example, we have revved up exploration work in the inland basins culminating in the oil find in commercial quantity, in the Upper Benue Trough.

“The drilling of the Kolmani River 111 Well is ongoing with very high prospect of oil find. Seismic data collection is ongoing in the Bida Basin and we are re-launching exploration work in the Chad Basin,”

The NNPC boss noted that some disputes that had led to the shut in of production in some facilities had also been reduced, disclosing that immediately the curtailment placed on production by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is lifted, the company will “unleash” all the pending initiatives to rev up production.

He added: “We have also resolved a number of disputes that hampered production activities with a view to boosting production to meet the 3million barrels per day production target. Key among these are the dispute involving Shell and Belema oil that shut in over 30,000 barrels per day production in OML 25.

“We have also executed the Abo OML 125 Heads of Terms leading to the resolution of the issues around most of the deep offshore production sharing contracts, paving way for eventual renewal of OML 125 and further investment in exploring the lucrative field,” Kyari stated.

On investments, the GMD recalled that the company had also secured a number of alternative funding facilities for the NPDC and some of its Joint Ventures to facilitate the development of some of its assets.

“These include: the N875.75m NPDC OML 65 Alterative Funding and Technical services package with CMES-OMS Petroleum Development Company, the $3.15bn Alternative Financing Package with Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO} and other partners for the development of NPDC’’s OML 13.

“OML 13 First oil of about 7,900 bpd was achieved from the project on Ist April, 2020, while production is expected to peak at 94,000bpd and 542mmscfd within four years.”