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Stakeholders highlight potential of frontier inland basins, seek collaboration

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
11 December 2019   |   3:46 am
Researchers and industry experts have restated the need to deepen the current effort in exploring Nigeria’s frontier inland basins to improve the nation’s economy and oil and gas projections.

Oil and Gas. Photo: PIXABAY

Researchers and industry experts have restated the need to deepen the current effort in exploring Nigeria’s frontier inland basins to improve the nation’s economy and oil and gas projections.
  
Nigeria is aiming to increase its crude oil reserve base to over 40 billion barrels and daily production to about 3 million barrels.
    
The experts, who gathered at the second summit on research activities in Nigeria’s frontier basins, insisted that there was a need for collaboration and sustainability.

   
Currently, over 93 per cent of Nigeria’s oil production comes from the Niger Delta basin but the Federal Government had stated that there was a need to explore other sedimentary basins, including Bida, Gongola, Sokoto, Benue Trough, Anambra and Dahomey in an attempt to diversify the country’s hydrocarbon resources.
  
Already, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the discovery of oil in Gongola basin and currently working on the commercial viability of the resources.
  
With over 11 research papers and other presentation by industry players focusing on “Nigeria’s Frontier Basins: Vehicle for Reserve Growth through R&D”, the stakeholders noted that exploring the frontier basins remain timely, considering that the relevance crude oil dwindles as the international communities shift from oil.
  
Speaking at the event, which was sponsored by the National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development (NCPRD), Energy Commission of Nigeria in collaboration with the NNPC, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency and the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, said there was need to intensify collaboration to achieve desired outcomes in the ongoing exploration activities in the frontier basins.
  
Kyari said NNPC would continue to lead the campaign to ensure that more works are carried out in the basins, with a view to increasing the nation’s reserves, investment opportunities and create employment for the teeming youths in the Country.
  
He, however, noted that this feat could only be achieved through doggedness, consistency, creative thinking as well as innovative ideas and the deployment of new emerging technologies.

Kyari said NNPC was ready to actively collaborate with competent institutions of learning to carry out exploration activities, especially in the areas of geological and geophysical data generation, environmental baseline studies, drilling location preparation, among others, saying this would bridge the gap between the academia and the Industry.
  
Also speaking at the event, the Director-General/CEO, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, expressed total confidence in the collaborative capacity of NNPC to galvanize the commitment and leadership needed to achieve the expansion drive through research and development, as part of the goals of and target of the summit.
  
The Vice-Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Prof. Abdulazeez Muhammad Ahmad, who said the university was part of the late 1990s exploration campaign in the Kolmani River-II of the Gongola Sub-basin of North-East Nigeria said though SNEPCo earlier reported a non-commercial gas discovery in Kolmani, the school independently studied another well Nasara-1 as a PhD research and indicated the presence of oil in the well-sourced from lacustrine sediments.
 
According to him, the finding earned NUC’s best PhD award from all physical sciences from all Nigerian universities for the year 2006 as well as NMGS/Chevron best PhD award for the same year.