Prospects of crude oil exploration in Northern Nigeria gladdens Sambo

Channels Television  
Updated September 7, 2012

Vice President Namadi Sambo on Friday expressed the appreciation of the Federal Government to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the positive progress they are making in the exploration of hydro carbon at the Chad Basin.

From left: The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Goni Sheikh; The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, and Vice President Namadi Sambo, at a meeting on Lake Chad Basin hydrocarbon exploration in Abuja on Friday

Speaking at a meeting convened with experts within the NNPC and other public sectors at the State House, Abuja, Mr Sambo said he was happy that surveys have indicated the presence of oil in the Chad Basin.

He noted that the budget provision is based on activity assessment and that the efforts so far expended and the achievements recorded so far will lead to the realization of the targeted goal.

He directed that a meeting with Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), a conglomerate that is presently working with the NNPC on the project, should be convened as a step to engaging willing and ready investors that will facilitate speedy and timely exploration in the second phase of the exercise.

The vice president further directed that the recommendation in the aero magnetic data survey needs to the harnessed including other works and services required so that a target time can be arrived at.

He noted on the need for deployment of funds, and the need to source for and engage other capable hands who are willing and ready investors.

Mr Sambo reaffirmed the Federal Government resolved to explore oil on the Lake Chad Basin contrary to the allusion in some quarters that government is not serious in doing so.

In his briefing the Group Managing of NNPC, Andy Yakubu, said despite the insinuations making the rounds that the corporation is not doing much on the exploration of the hydro carbon on the Lake Chad, NNPC was doing a lot to realize the objective of the Federal Government.

He said an integrated team of consortium of consultants set up by the Federal Government to study the possibility of exploring oil has identified 3350Sqm which was recommended for further investigation.

He added that on the submission of the report of the investigation NNPC commissioned its subsidiary and consultants to start the exploration. These consultants include the Chinese companies that worked in similar ventures on Niger and Chad Republics.

Mr Yakubu noted that due to the high technology employed for the exploration the area was divided into four phases and that work is currently on-going on the fifth phase.

He further added that three major sub-basins in the Lake Chad area namely Biu, Maiduguri and Barga had been identified and marked as low risk while work is currently going on in that area.

He pointed out that lack of security and adequate funding are the major challenges being faced in the speedy execution of the project.

If oil is found in the Chad basin, some northern states including Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe and by extension Adamawa States may be listed as crude oil producing state, a status that may improve the living condition of residents of these states.