Few months after the terrorist group in the north eastern part of the country, Boko Haram, ambushed and killed some lecturers from the University of Maiduguri who were part of a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, oil exploration team in the Lake Chad basin, the corporation said it has commissioned another team to handle a similar mission in the Sokoto basin.
The NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, told the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, during a working visit to the NNPC Towers in Abuja that the corporation was determined to find oil in the northern part of the country.
"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," Mr. Baru said.
"We have also awarded a contract for the geological mapping of the basin. I am happy to state here that samples have been collected, mapped, analyzed, and geological modeling executed to ensure data integration," he added.
He said discussions were ongoing with the NNPC integrated data subsidiary, Integrated Data Services Limited, IDSL, to award contract for surface geochemistry, ground gravity and magnetics.
According to him, this was necessary to determine if hydrocarbon was generated in the basins and importantly, to integrate all data for understanding of petroleum systems the basins.
Mr. 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 would be carried out over leads and prospects of the basin.
"After all these are carried out, we will then begin to drill for oil and gas in the basin," the NNPB GMD added.
He commended Governor Tambuwal for the visit, assuring that the NNPC was giving the required attention to renewable energy and inland basins, to create a prosperous future for the entity.
In his remarks, the governor said the result of various studies carried out by government in the Sokoto Basins would be transferred to the NNPC to aid its exploration efforts.
He said the State government, in collaboration with the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto would organise a national conference on the Sokoto Basin in October to enable international scholars 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," the governor said.
He said historical records, which revealed the presence of huge deposits of hydrocarbon in the Sokoto Basin, has been a subject of interest to geologists for long time.
One of such interests, he said was shown by Italian oil giants, Elf, which planned to consider preliminary exploration activities in the area in the 50s.
He said Sokoto government would welcome the start of activities and would support any effort that would lead to a positive result.