30 August 2011, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) has faulted the validity of the recent claim by the Kwara State government of crude oil discovery in the state, saying the rock formation in the state does not support the claim.
NMGS’s General Secretary, Dr Gbenga Okunlola, said Kwara state was scientifically and geographically not a habitat for oil accumulation going by its rock formation. “We feel it is scientifically in-correct because oil is usually associated with sedimentary basins, but, in Kwara state and especially the area where they claimed there are oil findings, it is not an underlying of sedimentary basins, but basement complex,” he said.
Dr Okunlola, who described the basement complex as the oldest rock that geologically was not a habitat for oil accumulation, added: “We are questioning this finding on the basis of empirical, scientific fact which had been globally proven all over the world. If you look at where there are reported oil findings in Nigeria – the Niger delta area – and where oil exploration is now going on in the Benue trough and Chad basin, you have sedimentary accumulation.”
He also declared: “We know where oil had been found in commercial quantities – the Niger delta, lower Anambra basins. So, to say Kwara is within this geological zone for oil accumulation and the possibility of them finding oil is extremely remote, scientifically.”
Dr Okunlola, while asking that the area where the oil was allegedly discovered be studied to rule out possibility of a burst oil pipeline, said the right thinking would be to assume that the oil discovered is a result of a burst pipeline. “What we think may have happened and where they need to just concentrate their findings is that they may have some buried pipelines in that area that are leaking, whether it is crude, petrol or any other product being piped along that area,” he further stated.
The expert maintained that where the suspected oil is from a leaking pipe, this might end up polluting ground water. According to him, “over a long time, this would affect the ground water, such that what is coming out will just be hydrocarbon products. Erroneously, they will be thinking that it is an oil find. They have to really go and ameliorate that before it pollutes the environment and destroys the ecosystem. This invariably will disrupt the economic activities in that area.”