• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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NNPC gets marching order on exploration of oil in North-East

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to fast-track its hydrocarbon exploration efforts in the North East.

The directive was premised on the reported indicative discovery of hydrocarbons by Royal Dutch oil company, Shell in the Chad Basin and Kolmani River respectively.

Maikanti Baru, NNPC's Group Managing Director
Maikanti Baru, NNPC’s Group Managing Directo

Maikanti Baru, NNPC’s Group Managing Directo disclosed this during a chat with Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, in Abuja.

He assured that the Presidential directive has been heeded to and the corporation’s Frontier Exploration Services has retooled to commence this with the Northern Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) which he noted was already prospecting for oil within the basin.

He also explained that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has been intimated on the need to assign blocs in the basin for prospective investors to take up.

“I thank you for your support for me to deliver in this turbulent waters and definitely, we are committed to collaborate with you and other state governors to drive all the initiatives that will fulfil the national aspirations as expected from my industry especially energy security.

“Now is a very difficult time for us with all the challenges of the leakages that we suffer from infractions of our infrastructure in terms of pipeline vandalism and theft to be able to meet obligations to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). We will continue to meet this obligation timely and effectively as much as possible,” Baru told the governor.

Continuing he said, “Very close home, we have exploration activities on the frontier basin, that is in the Chad and also there is some area close to the Kolmani River where Shell had made indicative discovery of hydrocarbons and Mr. President has directed me to go into that area to reprove and further explore the magnitude and prospects of those finds.”

“We are taking steps to restrategise and get into those regions. We will reinvigorate the Frontier Exploration and see how they collaborate with NNDC that is holding bloc 809 where some of the finds have been found and also DPR for the other blocs that have not been assigned and work towards proving the prospects of that region,” added Baru.

He called on Governor Abubakar to lend the corporation his government’s support in protecting and securing its petroleum infrastructure.

“A critical area of support that we will implore you is the security of our pipelines that transverse the state from Jos through Bauchi to Gombe and onwards to Maiduguri and Yola. There have been reported vandalism and we will request your Excellency to assist us with the necessary security surveillance to ensure that such vandalism are brought down.”

Earlier, Governor Abubakar stated that he was at the corporation to commiserate with Baru on his appointment to head NNPC, as well as affirm the state’s support for him.

“We have come to congratulate Maikanti Baru for attaining the very prestigious position of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC. We felt it incumbent to be the first to come to NNPC to congratulate the GMD,” he said.

The governor added: “We have back at home being following with keen interest the rise of Maikanti Baru in the industry. He has brought with him a very fantastic curriculum vitae to the position of the GMD of NNPC and we feel it is very important for us at this time at the onset to come and assure him of the backing and support of the government and good people of Bauchi State.

“We are confident that like he has done in all the other positions he has occupied in the industry, he is going to make a success of this particular position.

“We are aware of the situation of oil in the international market, everybody is also aware of the internal challenges we are facing in the country, we are hopeful and prayerful that we will surmount the internal problems and the price of oil will pick up in the international market”, he noted.