NNPC says exploration in Chad Basin is top priority

Titilayo Ipinjolu

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr.Ibe Kachikwu says the exploration for oil and gas in the inland basins especially Chad Basin and the Benue Trough remains a top priority.

In a statement, Dr. Kachikwu said the NNPC through its Frontier Exploration Services and Renewable Energy Division (FESRED) had progressed reasonably with seismic acquisition activities in the Chad Basin frontier area up until insurgency necessitated the suspension of operation there.

He said eight (8) phases, out of the planned twelve (12) phase project,to cover 3, 550 sq.km have been acquired by the date of suspension of operation on November 24, 2014.

According to him, “a total of 1, 962 sq.km have been acquired and processed, interpretation is currently on-going at about 90 per cent completion, and drilling activities will commence by the last quarter of 2016.’’

He explained that the seismic activities were carried out with due regard to environmental protection and in accordance with international standards and best practices and was being handled by the Integrated Data Services Limited (NNPC subsidiary) and BGP, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation.

Adding that “exploration in the Chad basin is to increase the nation’s oil and gas reserves and add value to the hydrocarbon potentials of the Nigerian inland basin, provide investment opportunities, boost the economy as well as create millions of new jobs”

The decision to diversify our business portfolio is about all of us and about the future of our dear country, the vision is clear, and we are determined not to fail,’’ Kachikwu stated.

The NNPC boss called on the private sector and venture capitalists across the globe to partner with NNPC in planned Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV’s) to profitably harness the enormous energy resources in Nigeria.