Business Hilights
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C’River, Ebonyi beg for oil exploration as insecurity hampers search in North

Opinion leaders in South East have continued to call on the federal government to start exploration of several discovered oil wells in parts of Anambra and Ebonyi States for the economic development of the nation.

Some of the oil wells in the region that are yet to be explored by the federal government include Eddah oil field confirmed in the last 40 years and Nsugbe oil field in Anambra State.

Besides, the Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, recently decried what he described as federal government’s silence over his request for the state to begin exploration in confirmed oil wells with huge commercial quantity which have been laying waste for decades.

Unfortunately, both calls are coming from South East and Cross River state at a time the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been spending hard earned to search for the same hydrocarbons in Chad Basin with fatal security challenges.

The General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services of NNPC, Dr. Mazadu Bako, had in his keynote address during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Department of Geology, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, said “As we speak, plans are at the advance stage to find oil in Chad Basin, but security is a major challenge in the Chad basin exploration and the northeast in general”.

“If the security situation was not the way it is by today, our locations for drilling would have been ongoing in construction.”

Business Hilights recalls that whereas some senior lecturers at the University of Maiduguri who were working with NNPC in the endless search for oil were recently murdered by insurgents, about three are still missing for months.

Represented by the Deputy Manager, Benue Through Operations of NNPC, Alex Tarka, the official averred that the Department of Geology, ABU has geo-scientists who have contributed immensely to the Nigeria extraction industry.

Dr. Bako noted further that “NNPC upstream as the arm that carries out petroleum exploration activities is a beneficiary of the contribution of the department of geology of this institution, as many of its graduates have worked or are still working in the MPDC, the E and P arm of the NNPC located in Benin City, Integrated data services, the seismic arm of the NNPC.

“Let us take a quick look at NNPC exploration effort in some inland basins in Nigeria, starting with the Chad basin, between 1976 and 1996, a total of 33 thousand kilometers of 2D seismic data were acquired, processed and interpreted, which led to the drilling of three wells in the Chad basin.

“I have the honour to let my department know that as at 1992, I was one of the geologists in one of the wells. Only two out of the 21 wells, the Uwadi and Kinasa recorded non-commercial gas while the other 21 had drive from 2008 to 2017. Just last year, a total of 1,962.20 square kilometers of 3D seismic data were acquired, processed and interpreted and prospects have been identified. Plans to commence drilling of the matured prospects have commenced,” Dr. Bako inferred.