As Tinubu Vows to Explore New Oil Finds
The ground-breaking ceremony of the Kolmani Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani field site will be the first oil drilling in Northern Nigeria, 66 years after the first oil find in Oloibiri in Bayelsa State.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, in October 2019, announced the discovery of crude oil, gas and condensate in the Kolmani River.
The commercial quantity discovery was the first in the region after several oil exploration on the Upper Benue Trough.
The oil field would be developed by Sterling Global Oil, New Nigeria Development Commission (NNDC) and the NNPC Ltd.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said Nigeria is blessed with huge hydro-carbon resources which must be explored to the fullest to give Nigerians better living.
The historic event signal commencement of commercial oil drilling and exploration in the northern region.
Speaking at the ceremony President Muhammadu Buhari said the successful discovery of oil in the Kolmani Oil Field has broken the jinx of oil discovery in Upper Benue Trough apart from the Niger Delta.
Muhammadu Buhari said that he directed the NNPC to continue exploration in the North East region to attract investments for economic prosperity in the region and the country large at large.
He said, “Considering the land locked location and the huge capital requirement, the economics of the project is a challenging proposition.
“Consequently, from the onset, I instructed NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Company) Limited to utilise and leverage their vast asset portfolio across all corridors of its operations to de-risk the project to attract the much-needed investment. I have directed NNPC to continue along these lines.
“It is, therefore, to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able attract investment of over $3bn to this project.”
Buhari described the ceremony as important in the economic history of Nigeria, “as we move closer to production of oil and gas in the Upper Benue Trough, specifically, the Kolmani River oil and gas field, straddling Bauchi and Gombe states.”
In his speech earlier,the Minister of State for Petroleum,Timpire Sylva said when NNPC first encountered a commercial quantity of KOLMANI oil in 2019,the whole nation celebrated.
He added that it was a fitting outcome for years of geological investigations which were carried on with the tenacity and consistency that embodied the pioneering spirit of the organization.
“Despite the enormity of challenges that NNPC encountered, the day has come when we can collectively witness and celebrate drillings for hydrocarbon in the North of our dear country.
“At the heart of this administration is the vision to drive infrastructure and industrial development of the country inorder to prosper citizen and make life more meaningful to all,” he said
“This is the motivation that sustain the quest to reform the petroleum sector which was culminated in the passage and signing into law by Mr President of the landmark petroleum industry.
“One of the key mandate of the ministry of petroleum resources is to grow reserve from the current thirty-seven billions barrels of oil to fourty billion barrels of oil by 2025.
“The PIA 2021 provided the regulatory support and frame work for achieving this mandate and providing for the frontiers exploration funds which the NNPC can untilise to deploy world class cutting edge technology to de-risk exploration in the frontier basins.
“The commencement of drilling of KOLMANI field which could hold as much as 1bn barrels of crude oil will significantly contributing and boosting out oil reserves and ensuring our continuous energy sufficiency.”
Speaking, presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Bola Tinubu, said his administration would intensify the oil search in the region.