NNPCL: Buhari launches oil drill at Chad Basin, targets 732m barrels

Five years after the search for oil at the Lake Chad Basin was suspended, President Muhammadu Buhari has flagged off the Wadi-B drilling campaign with the well expected to yield 732 million barrels of crude oil in the coming years, if successful.

The search for oil in the Chad Basin was suspended in 2017 after Boko Haram terrorists adopted scientists and geologists working for a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, leaving some dead.

The Wadi-B well is located in Tuba Community, Jere Local Government Area, 50km away from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Speaking virtually at the flag-off, President Buhari said the event marked the formal resumption of physical activities and the exploration of crude oil and gas in the Chad Basin area.

While expressing optimism that the re-entry of NNPC Limited into the Basin would yield better results, he stated that successes recorded in the Komani oil field and Ebenyi-A Oil Well in Nassarawa State were clear indicators of success in the Wadi-B oil field.

Also speaking at the event, the Group CEO of NNPC Limited, Mele Kayri expressed confidence that the drilling campaign will be successful, adding that the last oil drill performed at the Basin was done in 1995.

He explained: “We stopped drilling here in 1995 because the successes were weak, and findings were not commercial. We understood very clearly that we have to understand the Basin very well, we need to have a different approach to exploration activities in this Basin.

“That is why NNPC and her partner, the NUPRC, decided to embark on a data review on all the frontier basins in the country and our findings have been useful. Our understanding of the ridge system in Nigeria has enabled us to have successful outcomes in the Kolmani area and enabled us to mobilise to Nasarawa State”, he said.

On his part, the Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe explained that the OPL 732 well is part of the Federal Government’s effort to boost Nigeria’s crude oil reserves from the current 37 billion barrels to 40 billion barrels by the year 2030.


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