By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday flagged off the first drill for oil in Nassarawa State with the country hoping to raise its oil reserves to 50 billion barrels in the next decade.
Nigeria’s oil reserves currently stand at 37.8 billion barrels.
Speaking at the flag-off of the Spud-in of Ebenyi-A Oil Well in Ajibu, Obi Local Government Area of Nassarawa State, President Buhari said the government was determined to boost Nigeria’s oil production capacity by moving into new frontiers.
He pointed out that the drilling for oil in the Ebenyi-A well located in the Benue Trough “is in line of the ongoing campaign for the exploration of crude oil and gas in the nation’s frontier basins including the Chad Basin, Dahomey Basin, Anambra platforms, Calabar embankment, Sokoto Basin, Bida Basin, Benue Basin as well as ultra-deep offshore of the Niger Delta.
“Today’s occasion marks the official commencement of the exploration drilling in the middle Benue Trough. This is consistent with the commercial discovery of hydrocarbons in the Kolmani area of Upper Benue Trough”, he added.
President Buhari noted that “the consequent positive outcomes of these drilling campaigns will lead to greater prosperity for our people and especially enhance overall energy security for our Country. No doubt, the surrounding communities will particularly benefit from the value that will be created by the exploration and eventual production activities”.
Earlier, the Group CEO of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mr. Mele Kyari explained that the industry is working to boost the country’s oil reserves to 50 billion from frontier explorations.
Kyari said NNPC was also working to raise daily production from the about 1.7 million barrels per day to 3million barrels per day.
He also expressed optimism that “the positive outcome of this campaign will contribute to national aspiration of increasing our hydrocarbon reserves from the 37 billion barrels to 50 billion barrels in the short and in the medium term, increase production targets of 3 million barrels per day”.
Kyari who also highlighted the prospect of the Nasarawa field added: “Indeed, our findings are very indicative of potential commercial hydrocarbon discovery in this area.”
The quest to find oil in Nassarawa is coming four months after NNPCL flagged off the construction of oil production and refining facility in Kolmani oul field located between Bauchi and Gombe in November 2022.
Also speaking at the event, the Governor of Nassarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule said the search for oil in the area began over 10 years.
Gov. Sule who did the spud-in on behalf of President Buhari, commended the management of NNPC Limited, stressing that although the Ebenyi-A field activities began in 2010, it was in 2021 that NNPC acquired the 3D seismic data and made the oil find prospects at the site more promising.
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