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Experts doubt if new found northern oil would be in commercial quantity

Whereas the Federal Government continues on the euphoria of finding crude oil, gas and condensates in the Kolmani River region at the border community between Bauchi and Gombe states, industry experts have argued that the major issue is not hitting oil, but locating same in viably commercial quantity.

Recall that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had on Friday, announced that it has discovered crude oil, gas and condensates in the Kolmani River region at the border community between Bauchi and Gombe states, revealing that the doscovery was coming after eight months of crude oil exploration in the area, in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, in the North-Eastern part of the country.

Business Hilights recalls that the Drilling of the Kolmani River II Well was flagged-off in a colourful ceremony by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 2nd of February, 2019 under the close watch of immediate former GMD of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru.

However, industry pundits who spoke to our correspondents’ weekend recalled that some time ago, ExxonMobil and other leading IOCs had seen oil and gas in those areas, but later observed that what was seen was not in commercial quantity hence they abandoned further activities after wasting much resource in searches.

In a statement weekend by its Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Samson Makoji at the NNPC, the Corporation claimed that it acquired 435.54km2 of 3D Seismic Data over Kolmani Prospect in the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin.

NNPC Baru to Kyari
Official handover at NNPC Towers, Abuja from former GMD, Dr Maikanti Baru to Mele Kyari on Monday, Jluy 8, 2019

NNPC further noted that this was to evaluate Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCo, Kolmani River 1 Well Discovery of 33 BCF and explore deeper levels. Makoji said the well was drilled with “IKENGA RIG 101” to a total depth of 13,701feet encountering oil and gas in several levels, adding that a Drill Stem Test (DST) is currently on-going to confirm the commercial viability and flow of the Kolmani River reservoirs.

According to Makoji, “On Thursday 10th October, 2019, at 18:02hours, one of the reservoirs was perforated and hydrocarbon started flowing to the well head at 21:20hours in which the gas component was flared to prevent air charge around the rig.

“Preliminary reports indicate that the discovery consists of gas, condensate and light sweet oil of API gravity ranging from 38 to 41 found in stacked siliciclastic cretaceous reservoirs of Yolde, Bima Sandstone and Pre-Bima formations. Computation of hydrocarbon volume is on-going and will be announced in due course.

“The Corporation has also acquired additional 1183km2 of 3D seismic data over highly prospective areas of Gongola Basin with a view to evaluating the full hydrocarbon potential of the Basin.

“NNPC has deployed world class cutting-edge technologies including Surface Geochemistry, Ground Gravity/Magnetic, Stress Field Detection, Full Tensor Gradiometry aerial surveys to de-risk exploration in the frontier basins. The NNPC plans to drill additional wells for full evaluation of the hydrocarbon volume in the Gongola Basin.”

NNPC also recalled that during the spud-in ceremony of Kolmani River II, President Muhammadu Buhari stated the commitment of his administration to the exploration for oil and gas in the frontier basins in the entire length and breadth of the country. The basins include: the Benue Trough, Chad Basin, Sokoto and Bida Basins.

President Buhari was further quoted as saying that “attention would be given to the Dahomey and Anambra Basins which have already witnessed oil and gas discoveries. The discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantity in the Gongola Basin will attract foreign investment, generate employment for people to earn income and increase government revenues.”

However, analysts are worried on why a lot of found and confirmed oil wells in parts of Ebonyi and Anambra since over 30 years are yet to be explored rather billions of dollars are spend to search for oil in the north by the present administration.