Sokoto — The Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) has said it has started the process that will lead to the exploration of oil and gas in the Sokoto Basin.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Kachalla Baru, stated this when he received the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who paid a working visit to the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
"We have been on the issue of exploration in the frontier basins and so far, some measures of steps have been taken. We have already purchased aeromagnetic data and its being interpreted to determine the sedimentary thickness and the basin configuration.
"Secondly, we have awarded a contract for the geological mapping of the basin and I am happy to state here that outcop samples have been collected, mapped, analysed and geological modeling executed so as to ensure data integration," the GMD stated.
He added that discussions are ongoing with Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) to award contract for surface geochemistry, ground gravity and magnetics. This, according to him, is necessary to determine if hydrocarbon was generated in the basins and importantly, to integrate all date for understanding of petroleum systems of the basins.
Baru said the NNPC would also carry out high resolution regional 2D seismic data acquisition to identify leads and prospects, after which a 3D seismic data acquisition will be carried out over leads and prospects.
"After all these are carried out, we will then begin to drill for oil and gas in the basin," he added.
While commending Tambuwal for the visit, Baro assured that the cooperation is giving the required attention to renewable energy and inland basins in order to create a prosperous future for the entity.
Earlier in his remarks, Tambuwal said various studies had been carried out by the government on the Sokoto Basins, the result of which would be made available to the NNPC to aid its efforts.
He said the state government, in collaboration with the Usman Danfodio University, would organise a national conference on the Sokoto Basin in October where international scholars would make presentations on the topic.
"We are inviting you and the NNPC to take part in this important conference because we believe it will add value in our search for hydrocarbon in the Sokoto Basin," he added.
The governor said historical records indicated that the presence of hydrocarbon in the Sokoto Basin has been a subject of interest to geologists for long, a situation that made oil giant, Elf, to consider preliminary exploration activities beginning from the 50s.
He said Sokoto State Government would welcome the start of activities and will support any effort that would lead to positive result.