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NNPC justifies oil search in new frontiers

Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, has said that exploration in the frontier basins is crucial to the nation’s quest to increase its proven oil reserves to 40 billion barrels and daily production to three million barrels per day.

Nigeria with oil reserves of about 37b barrels currently produces about 2.53m bpd.

To achieve the set goals, Kyari said the NNPC would continue to focus on the exploration of all the assets at its disposal, particularly the unexplored areas in Niger Delta, Bauchi, Sokoto and Anambra, which he described as the frontier basins.

He stated this in Abuja on Monday at the second summit on research activities in Nigeria’s frontier basins with the theme, ‘Nigeria’s frontier basins: Vehicle for reserve growth through research and development.’

The programme was organised by the National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Bauchi, in collaboration with the NNPC, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

Addressing participants at the summit, the GMD said a lot of exploration work had been done at the frontier basins over the past 40 years, noting that the positive outcomes in recent times had opened what he described as the new gateway of opportunities for the nation.

He said, “Exploration in the frontier basin is very critical for two reasons: one is that we have ambition to increase our nation’s reserves to 40 billion barrels of proven oil.

“Closely linked to that is to increase our production to three million barrels per day.”

Kyari said with the understanding of the rig system by NNPC engineers, more attention would be paid to cretaceous basins, adding that the corporation would lead the campaign to ensure that more work was done in the offshore, deep-water, Anambra platform, Dahomey, Bida and Lake Chad basins and other locations.

According to him, the frontier basins have become very attractive on account of the oil find in the hitherto unexplored areas, stressing that this development is important to the country.

He said, “A lot of work was done over the last 40 years. Our team in-house are completely NNPC team and they have a new understanding of the rig system and cretaceous leading to what is clearly a significant discovery in Kolmani River area.

“I believe the NNPC would lead this campaign to make sure that more work is done in the frontier basins. Ultimately, the result would be an addition of the blocs and essentially increasing production.”

The senator representing Bauchi South, Salisu Musa-Matori, said the discovery of oil at Kolmani River did not come as a surprise to him, adding that preliminary report had indicated that the area was rich in gas, condensate and light sweet oil.