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Nigeria to commence hydrocarbon survey in Bida Basin

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The Director, DPR, Ahmad Shakur.

.As experts seek synchronisation of roles

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has commenced the radiometric survey of the Bida Basin, Niger State, in line with the federal government’s aspiration to diversify hydrocarbon exploration across all Nigerian basins.The Director, DPR, Ahmad Shakur, gave this indication when he paid a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso.

Shakur said the objective of the radiometric survey is to determine the prospect of hydrocarbon in the Bida Basin, adding that the exercise will cover 12 local government areas of the state. He solicited the cooperation of the state government in sensitising people in the affected areas of the survey to ensure the safe conduct of the programme.

But experts have raised issues on the somewhat duplication of roles between the Frontier Exploration Services (FES), Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), as well as DPR and imminent controversies, especially in the inland basins. Chief Executive Officer, Degeconek and a former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Abiodun Adesanya, called for synchronization of roles for national development.

Since FES has no production capacity, the argument for most experts, had been in the areas of progressing activities for production, which would require the services of a production company either public or private, as well as bank for data and research documents, which could be used for marketing and research purposes.

Stakeholders, including Adesanya, argued that government may have to recalibrate the role of FES in the line of research and development, the NNPC currently has another department, which focuses on this.

On the other hand, while the DPR is already empowered to control lease administration, regulations and others, stakeholders have queried the level of its involvement in the current activity, especially in data collection, as the repository of all oil and gas data in the country.

In response to DPR’s quest for support, Bello promised to give maximum support, including the provision of adequate security for the survey team.He said the state was delighted to have DPR, as the petroleum industry regulator, carry out the survey, which they expect will boost the economy of the state by way of job creation.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to extend exploration activities to Chad Basin, Gongola Basin , Anambra Basin, Sokoto Basin, Dahomey Basin, Bida Basin, and Benue Trough, for more prosperous Nigeria.


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Ahmad Shakur
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