28 February 2018

Nigeria: NNPC Returns Full Force to Explore Lake Chad Oil After Kidnap

Barely two weeks after the release of some lecturers prospecting for oil in the Chad Basin, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has concluded arrangement to recommence exploration activities at the basin, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Kacalla Baru, has said.

Oil exploration activities at the Chad Basin was suspended for months due to the abduction of the three lecturers from the University of Maiduguri which raised fresh security concerns.

Baru, who led a team of the company's top management staff to the Kaduna International Trade fair on Wednesday said the NNPC has discovered four locations in the Benue Trough that has renewed its hope on the prospect of an oil find in the basin and is ready to go back.

"We have been working tirelessly and we thank the President for rescuing some of the lecturers that were involved in the exploration in the region. We are going back to the Chad Basin with full force," he said.

He said the corporation's resolve to continue with exploration has been renewed particularly by new finds around Yankari area, saying from all indications success is on the way for the corporation in its bid to discover oil in the basin.

He said the corporation will also intensify efforts in states like Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger.

Baru said the NNPC was able to find a solution to the recent problem of fuel scarcity by deploying and activating a 24 hour real time monitoring and sustaining a 24 hour loading and sales operations in all depots and mega stations in the country.

He said other measures taken the corporation which ensured product availability in the country included sharing information with oil industry regulators and sister agencies and working closely with petroleum tanker drivers and the National Association of Road Transport Owners to ensure seamless movement of petroleum products nationwide.

Baru said the NNPC also increased the supply of petrol from the initial one vessel per day more to two vessels per day, thereby effectively providing 100 million liters which more than doubles the perceived national demand for discharge into the system every day.

He said having achieved this, the corporation is undertaking other measures to prevent a similar crisis in future by repairing bad portions of its major high ways, ensuring 24 hour improved border surveillance by the Nigeria Customs Service and enforcement of ex-depot price at the depots and retail outlets at N133.28 per liter and 145 respectively.

He said the corporation is also dredging the Escravos water channel by the Nigerian Ports Authority to facilitate free flow of vessels.

"With the above frontline actions by the NNPC and other stakeholders, I am sure the challenge would soon be a thing of the past," he stated.

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