President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday flagged off the first crude oil drilling project in northern Nigeria, bordering Bauchi and Gombe states.
NNPC had in October 2019 announced the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits In Kolmani River Pool II, Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, North East of the country.
The discovery of commercial quantity was the first in the region after several explorations for crude oil in the Upper Benue Basin.
The oil field will be developed by Sterling Global Oil, New Nigerian Development Commission (NNDC) and NNPC Ltd.
The discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities in the Gongola basin, according to the NNPC, will attract foreign investment, generate employment for people to earn income and increase government revenue.
At the flag-off in Bauchi on Tuesday, Mr. Buhari said the successful discovery of the Kolmani Oil and Gas field by the NNPC and its partners has finally broken a decades-long hype.
“This is significant considering that efforts to find commercial oil and gas outside the Niger Delta basin have been attempted for many years without the desired results,” Mr. Buhari said.
“This discovery was created under the auspices of the NNPC to re-strategize and expand oil and gas exploration footprints into the border basins of Anambra, Dahomey, Sokoto, Benue, Chad and Bida basins. Similar activities are currently underway in other basins.”
“We are excited about the discovery of more than 1 billion barrels of oil reserves and 500 billion cubic feet of gas in the Kolmani field and the tremendous potential for more deposits as exploration efforts intensify.
“As a fully integrated in-situ development project that includes production, oil refining, power generation and fertilizers, the project promises many benefits to the nation. This includes, among others, Energy Security, Financial Security, Food security and overall socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
Mr. Buhari stated that given the landlocked location and high capital requirement, the economics of the project is challenging.
“Consequently, from the outset, I mandated NNPC Limited to utilize and leverage its vast portfolio of assets across all corridors of its operations to de-risk the project to attract the necessary investment. I have mandated NNPC to continue in this vein.
“So it is to the credit of this administration that when there is no appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with locational challenges, we are able to attract over US$3 trillion in investment to this project,” he said. .
According to him, this will surely be a point of reference for a favorable discussion in the industry, as we continue the energy transition program that will achieve our country’s 1st Net-Zero position by 2060.
“I have engaged the governors of Bauchi and Gombe States, both of whom have assured me of their commitment and willingness to ensure support and cooperation in these places as this activity affects the local people,” he said.
He called on NNPC Ltd, NNDC and their strategic partners to ensure that all lessons learned from our years of experience are used to ensure harmonious relations with local communities.
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