The Federal Government will commence drilling activities for crude oil in the Chad Basin from the third quarter of this year, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said
According to him, the commitment of the Federal Government and the NNPC to explore for oil and gas in the inland basins especially Chad Basin and the Benue Trough is unwavering and is on the front burner.
Specifically, he said, the NNPC, through its Frontier Exploration Services and Renewable Energy Division, had progressed reasonably with seismic acquisition activities in the Chad Basin frontier area up until insurgency necessitated the suspension of operation there.
The minister, in a statement issued by the corporation’s spokesperson, Garba-Deen Mohammed, on Sunday, stated that eight phases out of the planned 12-phase project to cover 3,550 square kilometres had been acquired as of the date of suspension of operation on November 24, 2014.
“A total of 1,962 square kilometres have been acquired and processed, interpretation is currently ongoing at about 90 per cent completion, and drilling activities will commence by the last quarter of 2016,” Kachikwu stated.
He explained that the seismic activities were carried out with due regard to environmental protection and in accordance with international standards and best practices.
This, he said, was being handled by Integrated Data Services Limited, a subsidiary of the NNPC, and BGP, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation.
The minister said exploration in the Chad basin was to increase the nation’s oil and gas reserves and add value to the hydrocarbon potential of the Nigerian inland basin, provide investment opportunities, boost the economy as well as create millions of new jobs.
“The decision to diversify our business portfolio is about all of us and about the future of our dear country; the vision is clear, and we are determined not to fail,” he added.
Kachikwu said collaborate with the NNPC in planned special purpose vehicles to profitably harness the enormous energy resources in the country.