Nigeria: Don't Expect Early Discovery of Oil in Northern Nigeria, NNPC Cautions

4 February 2019

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, weekend, issued a caveat against heightened expectations of an early find of crude oil and gas in the north, warning that discovery of hydrocarbons in the region might not be immediate, as it might take years or decades to achieve.

Speaking during the Presidential Spud-in (drilling) of Kolmani River II Well, in Barambu community in Alkaeri Local Government Area, between Bauchi and Gombe states, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, warned that oil was discovered in Niger Delta after 50 years of searching, while in some other countries, it took several decades and search in numerous wells before the discovery.

He called for patience from the president, who gave them the marching orders to search for crude in the north, from people of the North-East zone and the entire Nigerians.

He said: "It usually takes time for oil to be discovered. In Niger Delta basin, it took over 50 years for explorations to discover crude oil.

"Niger Republic drilled over 600 wells over many years before they discovered crude oil, therefore, Mr. President, patience is of essence here."

Baru, however, assured that the NNPC will leave no stone unturned in executing the directive of the Presidency, while assuring that the NNPC would sustain the intensity of the ongoing oil and gas exploration in the inland basins.

NUPENG, PENGASSAN laud FG

Meanwhile, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and its Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, counterpart, have commended the flag-off and official commencement of crude oil search in the Kolmani Well River-II, located near Barambu, Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

The two unions noted that this latest milestone recorded by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari was undoubtedly a reflection of his government's resolve and commitment to grow Nigeria's economy, boost capacity and provide energy sufficiency, strengthen Nigeria's oil and gas industry.

In a joint statement by Prince Williams Akporeha and Francis Johnson, President of NUPENG and PENGASSAN respectively, the unions, yesterday, argued that this initiative would go a long way to galvanize the current government's national drive for jobs creation, youths empowerment and human capital development.

The statement read: "We equally found it worthy to extend our commendations to Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the hard working Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, and their entire team for making February 2, 2019, epochal in the annals of Nigerian history, posterity will surely judge you kindly for being a part of this major and significant breakthrough in our national life.

Beg Buhari to assent to PIB

"There is no iota of doubt in our minds that Nigerian workers have capacity and ability to deliver even much more than their counterparts in other climes when given the right tools and right working environment/conditions to do so.

"However, as key stakeholders in the industry, we urge and appeal to this listening administration to accelerate the final executive assent to the entire Petroleum Industry Bill.

"In this Bill, roles and accountability are better clarified; governance and transparency strengthened and inefficiency, maladministration, corruption and secrecy are accordingly tackled, these are quite important and must be upheld."

"We further believe that when passed, it would end unnecessary political interference in the sector and optimize value chain in the upstream, midstream and downstream of the petroleum industry." and as well separates the roles of the policy maker from the regulator and from the commercial institutions.

This historic flag off is without doubt, a full demonstration of Nigerians resilience, doggedness and determination, and the entire productive oil and gas workers are very proud of this great achievement and we promise to keep raising the bar with other committed stakeholders."

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