NNPC to begin oil exploration in Niger State

Abdul Mohammed Isa, Niger State

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The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has concluded arrangements to begin oil exploration activities in the Bida Basin of Niger State, Central Nigeria.

The exploration activities will cut across eight local government areas of the State.

The NNPC Group General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services, Abdullahi Bomai, who represented the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kolo Kyari, made the announcement on Wednesday, during a visit to the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello,

He stated that already, in-depth geological and geochemical studies showed that there were strong hydrocarbon-bearing indicators that have been confirmed as oil and gas-bearing formations in the eight local governments of the state, extending to parts of Kwara and Kogi states in the North Central parts of Nigeria.

“The local governments where the oil exploration will commence include Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai in Niger State,” he said.

Bomai added that NNPC Officials were in the state to unveil the 2D seismic data acquisition in the Bida Sokoto basin, and assured the governor that the progress being recorded in the ongoing exploration of inland basins by the Corporation was capable of growing the nation’s reserve to 40 billion barrels by the year 2023.

“NNPC management has graciously approved the award of the contract to Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) and their alliance partners (BGP/CNPC International Nigeria Limited to embark on immediate Seismic Data Acquisition to further unravel the presence of hydrocarbons in the Bida Basin,” he added.

The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, who expressed his satisfaction with the possibility of oil exploration, stressed the need for the NNPC to pay adequate compensation to the people in the course of the multi-billion naira project.

” As we are aware, research in the development of the Bida Basin has been on for quite some time.  We are however excited that the NNPC has finally succeeded in the project as Niger state will now be part of oil-producing states in the country,” said the Governor.

He said his administration would work with NNPC to ensure that communities in the exploration areas are carried along during the process.