Northern governors employ British firm for oil exploration

– Northern governors employed a British firm to explore oil in the north
– The search has made head way in the Chad Basin
– This is expected to stop the over reliance on Niger Delta oil

A British firm has been appointed by the 19 northern state governments to carry out the exploration activities for oil and gas.
This move is coming two weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari gave the order to the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) to commence the exploration of oil in the north.
The Northern Nigeria Development Company which is owned by the 19 northern states revealed that the exploration for oil and gas in the Lake Chad and Benue basins had commenced using the services of the British company.
Mallam Bashir Dalhatu who is the chairman of the development company gave detailed explanation in Katsina when the company’s board and management met with Governor Aminu Masari, during their fact-finding visit to the state
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu who is the minister of state for petroleum resources had said that the federal government would begin oil drilling activities in the Chad Basin from the third quarter of this year.
He insisted that this move is solid and that the NNPC, through its Frontier Exploration Services and Renewable Energy Division had already progressed reasonably “with seismic acquisition activities in the Chad Basin frontier area up until insurgency necessitated the suspension of operation there.”
In a statement by Garba-Deen Mohammed who is the spokesperson of the NNPC, He quoted Kachikwu as saying

“eight phases out of the planned 12-phase project to cover 3,550 square kilometres had been acquired. “A total of 1,962 square kilometres have been acquired and processed, interpretation is currently ongoing at about 90 per cent completion, and drilling activities will commence by the last quarter of 2016.”

Mr. Maikanti Baru who is the group managing director of the NNPC confirmed that exploration activities were going on in the frontier basin in Chad and in some areas close to the Kolmani River which is located in Bauchi. Shell has already made some indicative discovery of hydrocarbons.
Baru said that the NNPC was stepping up crude oil exploration activities as they were taking steps to re-strategise and get into those regions.

Governor Masari only African mineral resources had yet to be fully developed but applauded the fact that after being rendered stagnant for years, the NNDC was finally recording profit.
He also applauded the discovery of hydrocarbon in the region but noted that this will not solve all the problems in the north. He suggested that the solution lies in utilising the abundant land and manpower of the North for the purpose of redeveloping the agricultural sector.

The governor promised that northern governors would look into the possibility of acting as a guarantor for the company’s loans if they could not increase outright its current N500m share capital.
The exploration of oil is expected to stop the over-reliance on Niger Delta oil that has brought about the rise in militancy in the region.

This is also coming following the exportation of oil in Lagos which is also a move that will reduce focus on Niger Delta.

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