Drilling for oil in Chad Basin will begin this year: NNPC

By The Rainbow

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The  Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation will commence drill for oil in the Chad Basin in the last quarter of this year (2016), the corporation has said..

A statement by the Group General Manager,  Group Public Affairs Division Malam Garba Deen Muhammad, cited the corporation’s Group Managing Director  of the  Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, with the assertion.

According to the statement, Kachikwu also reaffirmed the  commitment of the Federal Government and the NNPC to explore for oil and gas in the inland basins, especially Chad Basin and the  Benue Trough.

Kachikwu was further cited to have said that  the NNPC, through its Frontier Exploration Services and Renewable Energy Division  had progressed reasonably with seismic acquisition activities in the Chad Basin frontier area until insurgency necessitated the suspension of operations.

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

“A total of 1, 962 sq. km was acquired and processed, interpretation is on at 90 per cent completion, and drilling activities will commence by the last quarter of 2016,” the GMD further said.

According to him,  seismic activities are carried out with regard to environmental protection and in accordance with international standards and best practices and handled by Integrated Data Services Limited (NNPC subsidiary) and BGP, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation.

In his view, the exploration in the Chad basin would increase the nation's oil and gas reserves and add value to the hydrocarbon potential of the Nigerian inland basin, provide investment, boost the economy as well as create jobs.

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

He urged the private sector and venture capitalists across the globe to partner NNPC in planned Special Purpose Vehicles  to profitably harness the enormous energy resources in Nigeria.

Much promises were made in past by both NNPC and northern governors on the drilling for hydro carbon in the Chad Basin, but none came to reality.