Kaduna — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that, there is prospect in the exploration of oil in the Chad Basin, but security challenge has been the major impediment to the success of the project.
The General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services of NNPC, Dr. Mazadu Bako, stated this during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Department of Geology, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.
Bako in his keynote address said: "As we speak, plans are at the advance stage. Security is a major challenge in the Chad basin exploration and the northeast in general. If the security situation was not the way it is by today, our locations for drilling would have been ongoing in construction."
Represented by the Deputy Manager, Benue Through Operations of NNPC, Alex Tarka, said the Department of Geology, ABU has geo-scientists who have contributed immensely to the Nigeria extraction industry.
According to him: "NNPC upstream as the arm that carries out petroleum exploration activities is a beneficiary of the contribution of the department of geology of this institution, as many of its graduates have worked or are still working in the MPDC, the E and P arm of the NNPC located in Benin City, Integrated data services, the seismic arm of the NNPC.
"Let us take a quick look at NNPC exploration effort in some inland basins in Nigeria, starting with the Chad basin, between 1976 and 1996, a total of 33 thousand kilometers of 2D seismic data were acquired, processed and interpreted, which led to the drilling of three wells in the Chad basin.
" I have the honour to let my department know that as at 1992, I was one of the geologists in one of the wells. Only two out of the 21 wells, the Uwadi and Kinasa recorded non-commercial gas while the other 21 had drive from 2008 to 2017. Just last year, a total of 1, 962.20 square kilometers of 3D seismic data were acquired, processed and interpreted and prospects have been identified. Plans to commence drilling of the matured prospects have commenced."
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Garba called for more investment in the mining sector.
According to him, for the fact that Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources does not translate to seeing them developed on their own without commiserate investment and commitment on the part of government for its utilization.
Garba added, "resources will always be there in the ground for geologists to exhume, but the other requirement that the country must have in other to promote the development of the resources must be there. We need government's commitment and investment.
"The resources that we benefit today has been product of very hard work over a long period of tremendous investment, so if we want to continue to benefit from the abundant mineral resource we have, we must work hard, we must invest and then develop the resources for the future."