By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos state Government,yesterday, confirmed that it was aware of the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities in the state, describing it as “a boost for the nation’s oil reserve drive.”
It will be recalled that, Wednesday, Afren Plc and its partner, Lekoil Limited, announced significant oil discovery offshore Dahomey Basin in Lagos
The discovery is subject to the authentication of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, which is expected in two weeks.
If certified and the partners produce the first barrel of oil, Lagos will become the 11th oil-producing state in Nigeria, a club Anambra State joined recently.
It is also expected to boost the economy of Lagos, which currently generates about N29 billion internally every month.
The other oil-producing states are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Ondo, Abia, Imo, Edo and Cross River.
Geological studies indicate that the Dahomey Basin is a combination of inland/coastal/offshore basin that cuts across some West African countries including Lagos (Nigeria), South-Eastern Ghana, Togo and the Republic of Benin.
Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engr. Taofiq Tijani, said the governor and the people of Lagos State were optimistic of the economic boom that the oil discovery will bring to the nation and the state in particular.
He said: “We at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources have done our work on oil and gas within our state.
“We know about a company, Agip group, owned by Folawiyo, that drilled and found oil seven years ago but is yet to commence operation. They are yet to drill the oil they found.
“We are also aware about this new discovery. We know about that oil bloc, AML Group of companies. We know they have been building that bloc many years back.”
We were aware when they found the oil and they contacted us so that we can work in partnership to develop that bloc. So we are in touch with them
“We know about another bloc 44 3311, owned by Sunlink. We have also been interacting with all the professional groups, Geologists, Geo-physics’, petroleum engineers and stakeholders to know about the kind of resources that have been found within our off shore, onshore Lagos.
“We have been told all along, that off shore Lagos is also a potential oil producing one like Niger Delta if they do enough exploration and exploitation activities. We know that the reservoir that we are talking about of the new discovery, will amount to that of Jubilee field in Ghana where they are producing oil. So it’s not news to us that they found oil, it is a thing of joy that they put in money to be able to explore and make arrangement for production.
“The oil discovery has a very positive economic implications for Nigeria considering the fact that Nigeria has made a projection that we going to achieve certain billion barrels of reserve in certain year. We have not been able to make the projection come through because most of the international companies are not doing what they are supposed to do by developing their resources and they are not drilling as they are supposed to do but we don’t blame them because the instrument they need to do all that is not available.