President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to increase the tempo of crude oil exploration activities in the northern part of the country.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Maikanti Baru, who disclosed this, yesterday, when the governor of Bauchi State, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, also lamented that Nigeria was currently facing difficult times.
Baru said the NNPC currently had exploration activities going on in the frontier basin in Chad and also in some areas close to the Kolmani River, located in Bauchi State, where Shell had made some indicative discovery of hydrocarbons.
According to him, the President has directed the NNPC to go into that area to improve and further explore the magnitude and prospect of those finds.
In response to the directive of the President, Baru disclosed that the NNPC was currently taking steps to re-strategise and get into those regions to step up crude oil exploration activities.
“We will re-invigorate the Frontier Exploration Services and see how they collaborate with the Northern Nigeria Development Company, NNDC. ‘’NNDC is holding bloc 809 where we have some of the finds and also the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, for the other blocs that have not been assigned,” Baru added.
On the tough economic situation, Baru lamented that the various attacks on oil and gas assets across the country were making it difficult for the corporation to meet its financial obligations to the country.
He said: “It is a very difficult time for us with all the leakages that we suffer, especially infractions on our infrastructure, in terms of pipeline vandalism and theft to be able to meet our obligations to the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.