As part of the strategic efforts of the federal government and northern leaders to force the region into the league of oil economy at all cost, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Wednesday, said it has shifted search for crude oil from North East to the Sokoto Inland Sedimentary Basin.
This is coming barely one month after the search was halted in the North East due to security confusion that lead to the deaths and abduction of top oil officials who are yet to be rescued from insurgents.
Explaining the sudden shift from north east to west during a visit by the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal in Abuja, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, revealed that he was working on the appeal from the North, calling on the NNPC to activate oil and gas exploration campaign in the Sokoto Basin with a view to establishing the volume and value of hydrocarbon deposits there.
According to him, NNPC had already procured aeromagnetic data on the Sokoto basin from the Nigerian Geophysical Survey as well as awarded contract for the mapping and procurement of apt samples to further the understanding of the area.
Besides, NNPC subsidiary, the Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) had been contracted to carry out various geochemistry investigation to gather and integration of all relevant data ahead of the planned procurement of seismic 2D data position to actually establish if oil exists at all and also in commercial proportion.
Business Hilights recalls that even before the government intensified search in the Chad Basin, ExxonMobil had tried and abandoned the project on grounds of non availability of hydrocarbons in commercial quantity.
However, government still ventured until security issues forced it out few months ago leading to diversion to Sokoto Basin which analysts say may not also, have the black gold in commericial quantity.