02 February 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Federal Government, Saturday, flagged-off the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s, NNPC, drilling of the Kolmani River II well in the Gongola Basin, between Bauchi and Gombe states, signaling the search for hydrocarbons in the northern region of the country.
Speaking during the Spud-in of the well at the site, President Muhammadu Buhari, declared that exploration of the country’s inland frontier basins was a national imperative and a core policy thrust that must be sustained, He explained that the search became critical especially as oil and gas remained critical to Nigeria’s economy of today and the future.
The president also noted that a key execution priority of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, was ensuring national energy sufficiency which cannot be achieved through hydrocarbon resources from the conventional basins alone.
He said, “It remains key to the successful implementation of our budget at all levels of government. The gain of high oil prices may not be here now but oil and gas resources still remain the most immediate practical keys to our aggressive efforts at diversifying the economy.
“As important as it is to ensure that other critical sectors of the economy are supported to grow and contribute more to the nation’s economy, we still need a virile oil and gas industry to take care of the challenges of the moment and to invest for the future.
“It is on this note that I directed the NNPC to aggressively intensify its exploration campaign in the inland basins to discover new hydrocarbon reserves that will boost oil and gas production and extend economic benefits to the people within the North-East and the nation at large.”
Buhari noted that the next level for the current administration was to ensure exploration efforts are intensified in all the country’s frontier basins, namely Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Anambra Basin, Sokoto Basin, Dahomey Basin, Bida Basin, and Benue Trough, to usher in prospects for more prosperous Nigeria.
Also speaking, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, said the commencement of drilling of the well was a pointer to the president that his mandate was being executed.
He expressed confidence that the exploration of this particular well would be a test case on the Kolmani prospects, noting that six prospects had been identified in the Kolmani River Basin and would move to other location after the successful drilling of the current well.
Baru also stated that the plan was to drill the well up to 14,500 feet below ground level, adding that the depth was expected to be reached between 60 and 70 days.
He, however, noted that where it reaches 14,500 feet and found from the results that there was a need for further drilling, it would extend the depth of the well further, especially as the rig is modern and can drill up to 20,000 feet.
Baru disclosed that the successful exploration of the well would bring about development in the country, as oil or gas found in the wells would lead to the establishment of other critical investments in the country.
He said, “If we hit success, what people are going to see is development. This is because at the moment, most of our analyses are indicating the possibility of having gas. So if it is going to be gas, we are going to have activities in terms of establishing power plants; we are going to have activities in terms of establishing fertilizer plants; and also have activities relating to possibly other industries like petrochemicals. It is going to be great. This place is going to be transformed industrially. We are very much looking forward to that.