The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has resumed oil drilling in Wadi-B Well at the Lake Chad Basin area of Borno State, after due completion of security risk assessment for re-entry.
President Muhammadu Buhari who performed the virtual flagged off of the drilling campaign on Tuesday, said, the exploration commenced in 1976 but was suspended in 1995, before the current re-entry by the (NNPCL).
TheFact Daily reports that Wadi-B Well located in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, 50km away from Maiduguri, with the total depth of 14k feet is expected to produce about 943m barrels oil.
Speaking, Buhari expressed optimism that the collaboration of industry players, especially, NNPCL and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regularly Commission (NUPRC) would result to a successful drilling campaign.
“I look forward to a successful drilling campaign in the Chad Basin through the collaboration of NNPC, NUPRC, other government agencies and through the people, security and government of the state,” Buhari said.
Earlier, the Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, said, the well with Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 732 would add to the country’s current reserve.
“We are optimistic that through this appraisal drilling, the huge hydrocarbon resource estimated at 943 million barrels of initial oil in place will be matured and migrated into the proven oil reserves,” Engr. Komolafe said.
He said, NUPRC was working to ensure the growth of oil reserves from 37 billion barrels to 40bn barrels by 2030, adding that NUPRC would also unveil the Frontier Exploration Services Regulation on Wednesday to guide oil prospects in new frontiers.
Also speaking, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPCL, Malam Mele Kyari, said, the company was only remobilizing for the drilling, first time since 1995 when it was suspended.
“We stopped drilling here in 1996 because the successes were weak and our findings were not commercial”, adding that the experience in Kolmani oil well, the Nasarawa well and other rig systems brought NNPC back to resume exploration in the Lake Chad Basin.
“We believe that this campaign will be successful and it will take us to the target of increasing oil and gas reserves in our country.
“This project will work; we are very committed, me and my team. It will work; this is a process, this process has value and this process will be created for everyone particularly for our people in this place,” Kyari said.
He averred that 70 per cent of Nigerians don’t have access to clean cooking energy attributable to deforestation and that the Sahara desert moves a kilometre south west every year, hence it was necessary to provide alternative fuel.
He commended the security forces and the Borno State government for boosting security in the state earlier ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents.
On his part, the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, commended Buhari for the frontier exploration and his support to the people of the state.
Zulum said, “The project is quite commendable, and it shall no doubt stand the test of time,” noting that it will create jobs, reduce unemployment and curb insurgency.
The governor assured the NNPC’s EnServ team that along with security forces, the state shall do everything within the reach to provide security for the project.