The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Friday announced the discovery of crude oil in an area of about 3,350 square metres in the Lake Chad Basin with Vice President Namadi Sambo directing the commencement of steps towards engaging “willing and ready investors that will facilitate speedy and timely exploration in the second phase of the exercise”.
Vice President Sambo said during a meeting with NNPC officials and other public-sector experts at the State House, Abuja, that the federal government was happy that surveys had indicated the presence of oil in the Chad Basin.
The Lake Chad Basin, in the far North Eastern Borno State of Nigeria, is the hotbed of terror attacks and other forms of violence by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
Sambo expressed the appreciation of the Federal Government to the NNPC following the positive progress they are making in the exploration of hydro carbon at the Lake Chad Basin.
He noted that the budget provision was based on activity assessment and that the efforts so far expended and the achievements recorded so far will lead to the realization of the targeted goal.
Sambo further directed that the recommendation in the aero-magnetic data survey needed to be harnessed, including other works and services required so that a target time can be arrived at.
He noted the need for deployment of enormous funds, and the need to source for and engage other capable hands who are willing and ready investors.
The Vice President reaffirmed the Federal Government’s resolve to explore oil on the Lake Chad Basin, contrary to the allusion in some quarters that government was not serious in doing so.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Andy Yakubu, said “despite the insinuations making the rounds that the corporation is not doing much on the exploration of the hydro carbon on the Lake Chad, NNPC was doing a lot to realize the noble objective of the Federal Government.”
He said an integrated team of consortium of consultants set up by the Federal Government to study the possibility of exploring oil has identified the commodity which was recommended for further investigation.
Yakubu added that on the submission of the report of the investigation into the exploration of oil in the area, NNPC commissioned its subsidiary and consultants to start the exploration.
The consultants include Chinese companies that had worked in similar ventures in Niger and Chad where crude oil has been found in commercial quantity.
He noted that due to the high technology employed for the exploration, the area was divided into four phases and that work is currently ongoing on the fifth phase.
Yakubu further added that three major sub-basins in the Lake Chad area, namely Biu, Maiduguri and Barga, had been identified and marked as low risk while work is currently going on in that area.
But he pointed out that lack of security and adequate funding are the major challenges being faced in the speedy execution of the project.