Nigeria has begun crude oil exploration in new locations along the Bida Basin, spreading across eight local government area of Niger state, two local government areas in Kwara state, and one local government area in Kogi state.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group General Manager Frontier Exploration Services, Abdullahi Bomai dropped the hint when he paid courtesy call on Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger on Wednesday.

According to Bomai, the Corporation is unveiling the 2D seismic data acquisition in the Bida Sokoto basin. He said the progress being made is capable of growing Nigeria’s reserve to 40 billion barrels by the year 2023. 

Abdullahi Bomai, who represented the NNPC’s group managing director at the meeting, said, “In depth geological and geochemical studies so far showed that there is strong hydrocarbon bearing indicators that have been confirmed as oil and gas bearing formations in 8 local government areas which extends to 2 other local governments in Kwara state and 1 Local Local government in Kogi state.

“Further exploration activities based on the need for exploration in the Bida Basin, NNPC management has graciously approved the award of 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.”

The NNPC chief told Governor Sani Bello that while efforts are being made to tap the potentials, “The NNPC is indeed delighted for the opportunity of today’s visit to inform you of the activities of NNPC/FES and also to solicit for your support.”

He stressed that significant progress is being made in the ongoing exploration of inland basins, with a realistic and achievable target of growing the nation’s reserve to 40 million by year 2023. “Today, we are glad to inform you of the commencement of hydrocarbon exploration in the sedimentary section of Niger state,” he told the governor.

While soliciting for the support, cooperation and participation of the states and local government councils, traditional rulers and community leaders towards achieving the national mandate, the NNPC chief said the deployment of light and heavy machineries along the basin will soon commence.

The affected local government areas to include; Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai. Bomai said in the course of conducting the operations, a lot of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers from Niger State will be engaged.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in his response expressed happiness over the realization of the project, stressing the need for the Corporation to pay adequate compensation to communities who would be affected by the oil exploration.

“We are all excited over the good news of the oil exploration. As you know, research in the development of the Bida Basin has been on for some times.

“We are, however, happy that the NNPC is seeing to the success of the project. We are hopeful that Niger state will join the oil producing states,” the governor told the NNPC delegation

Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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