NNPC begins crude oil exploration in Niger, Kwara, Kogi-GMD

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The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday, said it had commenced crude oil exploration along the Bida Basin spreading across eight local government areas of Niger state, two in Kwara state and one in Kogi state.

The Group managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari who disclosed this when he paid courtesy visit on Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger in Minna, said the corporation would soon unveil the 2D seismic data acquisition in the Bida Sokoto basin.

The NNPC GMD gave the names of the affected local government areas to include; Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai.

He said that in the course of conducting the operations, a lot of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers from Niger state would be engaged.

“Progress is being recorded in the ongoing exploration of inland basins by the corporation.

“It is capable of growing Nigeria’s reserve to 40 billion barrels by 2023, the GMD who spoke through Group General Manager Frontier Exploration Services, Abdullahi Bomai said.

Kyari also said, “Indepth geological and geochemical studies so far showed that there is strong hydrocarbon bearing indicators that have been confirmed as oil and gas bearing formations in 8 local government areas which extends to 2 other local governments in Kwara state and 1 local government area in Kogi state.

“To Further exploration activities, based on the need for exploration in the Bida Basin, NNPC management has graciously approved the award of contract to Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) and their alliance partners (BGP/CNPC.

” International Nigeria limited will embark on immediate Seismic Data Acquisition to further unravel the presence of hydrocarbons in the Bida Basin”.

The NNPC boss also told Bello that while efforts were on to tap the potential, “the NNPC is indeed delighted for the opportunity of today’s visit to inform you of the activities of NNPC/FES and also to solicit for your support.”

According to Kyari, significant progress is also being made in the ongoing exploration of inland basins with a realistic and achievable target of growing the nation’s reserve to 40 million by 2023.

“Today, we are glad to inform you of the commencement of hydrocarbon exploration in the sedimentary section of Niger state.

While soliciting for the support, cooperation and participation of the states and local government councils, traditional rulers and community leaders toward achieving the national mandate, Kyari said the deployment of light and heavy machinery, along the basin, would soon commence.

Bello,in his response, expressed happiness over the of the project, but stressed the need for the corporation to pay adequate compensation to communities that would be affected by the oil exporation.

The governor said, “We are all excited over the good news of the oil exploration. As you know, research in the development of the Bida Basin has been on for some times. We are, however, happy that NNPC is seeing to the success of the project. We are hopeful that Niger state will soon join the oil producing states”.

Bello assured preparedness of his administration to work with the NNPC toward ensuring that the affected communities are carried along and as well to compensate the people that would be affected by the oil exploration activities.

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