NNPC to resume oil drilling in Bauchi

 The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said it will commence drilling on a well in the Kolmani River area, located within Bauchi and Gombe states.

It said the drilling was to determine the size of gas found in the area and explore deeper search for oil.

The NNPC disclosed this on Saturday on Twitter while announcing the inauguration of the drilling of Kolmani River II Well by President Muhammadu Buhari in Barumbu Village, Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

This is coming almost 20 years after Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company abandoned the Kolmani River I Well as it did not find oil and gas in commercial quantity in the area.

The NNPC noted that in the 1990s, oil exploration in the Gongola Basin, Upper Benue Trough, by the international oil companies led to the finding of 146 feet of hydrocarbon sand in Kolmani River I well prospect estimated to contain 33 billion cubic feet of gas.

It said, “However, the IOCs didn’t investigate deep targets as their drilling was based on 2D seismic data. But upon Mr President’s directive, the NNPC prioritised exploration efforts in the frontier basins towards increasing the nation’s oil and gas reserves and production.

“In furtherance of this commitment, in 2016 and 2017, the Frontier Exploration Services of the NNPC acquired 3D seismic data over the Kolmani River area in order to determine whether there were possible prospects previously overlooked.”

The corporation said the initiative resulted in the identification of a number of drillable prospects by FES, leading to the planning of the Kolmani River II Well to determine the size of the gas find and explore deeper targets.

It said the Kolmani River II Well would be drilled by an oil services consortium, Messrs Etihad Oilfield Services/Drillog Petrodynamics Limited, under a turnkey contract agreement.

The NNPC said, “It is noteworthy that the host communities of this project are already benefitting from it. For instance, in preparation for the drilling operations, the NNPC constructed a 14.2km access road in the area. It also delivered health facilities, the ICT centre and boreholes.

“The NNPC is mindful of the fact that as a national oil company, every Nigerian is an important stakeholder in our operations, hence the importance we attach to the exploration of inland basins where the private sector will not undertake the risks.”

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, said in line with the President’s directive, the corporation had also moved into the Bida Basin.

He added, “I am happy to report that today, we are the first company to carry out exploration activities in the area.

“Today’s epic ceremony represents the fruit of our commitment to achieving this government’s objectives of increasing our hydrocarbon reserve base.

“We are also planning massive 2D seismic data acquisition in other parts of the Benue Trough traversing Adamawa, Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue and Taraba states.”

Meanwhile, residents of Barambu Village in the Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State have pleaded with the NNPC to pay them compensation for their land taken for the oil and gas exploration.

They made the plea in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Spud-in of Kolmani River-II Well Gongola Basin.

They said their farmlands were taken with a promise that they would be compensated, lamenting that not a dime had been given to any of them over one and a half years after.
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