NNPC intensifies search for oil in Niger state, others – By Gloria Uchenna

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Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello, with NNPC officials

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is set to acquire 600km of two-dimensional (2D) data to assess the availability of hydrocarbons in commercial quantity at the Bida and Sokoto Basins.

The Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, represented by the Group General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services (FES), Abdullahi Bomai, disclosed this while unveiling the 2D seismic data acquisition for the Bida/Sokoto basins at the Government House, Minna, Niger state.

A statement by Mary Noel-Berge, chief press secretary (CPS) to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, of Niger state, said Mallam Kyari disclosed that the NNPC decided to further its exploration in the basins due to an in-depth geological and geochemical study which indicated strong hydrocarbon-bearing  (principal constituents of petroleum and natural gas) in the Bida Basin, Niger state.

“To this end, a 600km 2D seismic data will be acquired over the prospects in the Bida Basin to further evaluate the potential of the basin,” he said.

He stated that the exploration activities cover eight local government areas in the state comprising of Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai as well as two in Kwara and one in Kogi states.

The GMD said the world-class cutting edge technologies including surface geochemistry, ground gravity/magnetic stress field detection and full tensors gradiometry ariel survey have been deployed in other to explore large areas and de-risk prospects in the frontier basins because of identifying highly prospective hydrocarbon explorative targets in the basin.

He added that to ensure exploration activities based on the needs of the Bida Basin, the management of NNPC approved the services of some key partners.

The GMD announced the establishment of a Professorial Chair in Basinal Studies at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU) Lapai, by the NNPC as their Corporate Social Responsibility as a result of the institution’s hard work and dedication in resource persons.

He assured that adequate compensation would be given to the affected host communities, while promising to engage skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. 

“This should not cause any panic or disturbance. It is industry standard to assess such damages and provide appropriate compensation to affected persons and/or communities,’ he pledged.

He emphasized that the NNPC is determined to carry out detailed exploration of the basin, using best standards and technologies with the hope of finding commercial deposits of oil and gas which was pivotal to achieving the target of growing the nation’s reserve to 40billion barrel by the year 2023.

The GMD called on relevant stakeholders to support the corporation towards the success of its mandate.

Responding, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, said the state government has made available all machinery in the sector to ensure the exploration of the Bida Basin becomes a reality, so that the state becomes an oil-producing state.

Governor Sani Bello appreciated the staff and management of the NNPC who are involved in the Bida Basin Exploration assuring them of unalloyed government support to achieve the desired objective.

He said the activities of the Bida Basin would create job opportunities, advising the corporation to draw lessons from the Niger Delta so that those who lose their means of livelihood are adequately compensated and directly involved in the activities.

The governor said, even as the country diversifies the economy, the downstream sector should not be neglected as it remains the mainstay of the country’s economy.

On environmental degradation, Gov. Sani Bello said while exploration of the area was ongoing, tree felling has become rampant and that the state government was planning re-afforestation programme that would see the planting of five million trees within the next five years. 

He called on NNPC to key into the project to avoid erosion.

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