Niger floats oil firms “to tap potentials of Bida basin”

25 October 2012, Sweetcrude, MINNA – THE Niger State government has established two oil firms – a refining company and gas company – to tap oil and gas resources, it said, existed in the Bida basin located in the state.

The companies, known as Midland Refinery and Petrochemical Company and Midland Petrogas Resources Limited, will specifically serve as special purpose vehicles for upstream and downstream activities for the state’s oil and gas resources development drive, the government said.

Lt. General Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi (rtd), chairman of a committee set up last year by the state governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, to assess the viability of the Bida basin, disclosed this while submitting the committee report to the governor, Wednesday, in Minna.

He said the potential of oil existing in the Bida basin has been established, adding that exploratory wells would be drilled at Patti-Shaba-Kolo and in two other locations in the state to determine the nature of oil and gas existing in the basin.

“Niger State government through the Gubernatorial Committee should take the lead in the formation of Association of Inland Basins Development States with the view to seeking the buy-in of other states within the basin to support the ongoing state drive for search of oil and gas in commercial quantity,” he said.

Wushishi stated that his committee suggested to the government to carry out a feasibility study for the viability of establishment of a petrochemical and refinery plant at Baro on the basis proposed by the committee.

Governor Aliyu, in his response, said the committee would be transformed to a standing committee and lauded the Energy Commission of Nigeria, ECN, for its involvement in the search for oil in the state.

According to him, ECN’s involvement in the search has given the exercise credibility. He called on investors to partner with the government for full exploitation of the potentials of the Bida basin.

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