President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to intensify oil exploration in the North, specifically in the Chad Basin and Kolmani River.
A statement by Garba Deen Muhammad, the NNPC spokesman, revealed that the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed this while hosting the Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, at the headquarters of the NNPC in Abuja on Monday
Baru stated that the President’s directive to the corporation to speed up its oil exploration efforts in the region followed the reported discovery of hydrocarbons by Shell in the Chad Basin and Kolmani River.
Baru added that the directive had been heeded, as the corporation’s Frontier Exploration Services had retooled to commence exploration with the Northern Nigeria Development Company.
“Very close home, we have exploration activities on the frontier basin, which is in the Chad; and also there are some areas close to the Kolmani River where Shell had made indicative discovery of hydrocarbons and Mr. President has directed me to go into that area to reprove and further explore the magnitude and prospects of those finds,” Baru disclosed.
“We are taking steps to get into those regions. We will reinvigorate the Frontier Exploration and see how they collaborate with the NNDC that is holding Block 809 where some of the finds have been found. We will also do the same at the DPR for the other blocks that have not been assigned, and work towards proving the prospects of that region.
“Now is a very difficult time for us with all the challenges of the leakages that we suffer from infractions of our infrastructure, in terms of pipeline vandalism and theft, to be able to meet obligations to the Federation Account Allocation Committee. We will continue to meet this obligation timely and effectively as much as possible.
“A critical area of support that we will implore you is the security of our pipelines that transverse the state from Jos through Bauchi to Gombe and onwards to Maiduguri and Yola. There have been reported vandalism and we will request you to assist us with the necessary security surveillance to ensure that such acts are brought down,” he stated.
The Governor noted that the reason for his visit to the NNPC Towers was to felicitate with the new GMD on his appointment, noting that Bauchi state is proud of Baru and his accomplishments so far in the oil and gas industry.
“We have come to congratulate Dr. Maikanti Baru for attaining the very prestigious position of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC. We felt it incumbent to be the first to come to the NNPC to congratulate the GMD,” he said.
“We are aware of the situation of oil in the international market; everybody is also aware of the internal challenges we are facing in the country. We are hopeful and prayerful that we will surmount the internal problems and the price of oil will pick up in the international market.”