The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru says exploration work in the Bida Basin has not reach the stage where availability of crude in commercial quantity could be ascertained.
The Group Managing Director who spoke against the backdrop of media reports suggesting the discovery of oil in commercial quantity said the process leading to the arrival of such conclusion is tedious, even as he confirmed that the Corporation alongside researchers of the Niger State-owned Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL) are ground in the basin.
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The clarification was made during the 2nd Combined Convocation ceremony where he was conferred with the Fellowship Award by the IBB University on Saturday in Lapai Niger State.
According to him there are 10 stages of activities to ascertain whether the discovery of oil and gas is in commercial quantity, adding that in respect of the Bida Basin, researchers are on the fourth stage.
He said IDSL, a subsidiary of NNPC, is currently analysing the Basin to determine if the hydrocarbons have been generated.
"There have been sporadic claims, even recently, by several bodies including Niger state dictionaries that crude oil have been discovered in certain areas of the state. Also it was reported that commercial qualities of oil were discovered from seven wells drilled through the collaboration of the NNPC and IBBUL. NNPC’s wish this may come true.
"it is my hope that with this clarity, all claims and counter claims in respect of the Bida basin hydrocarbon discoveries will be given a befitting rest they deserve, until the conclusion of the current NNPC led efforts or other effort in the Basin are concluded in conformance with the due process enumerated earlier. "
He said NNPC is desirous of discovering oil and gas in the frontier basins and is currently engaged in aggressive exploration campaign in the affected location with a view of discovering new oil and gas reserves that will boost oil and gas production in the nation.
"it is our utmost desire that the success of the ongoing exploration campaign in the inland Basins will usher in a new Nigeria. Oil discovery in the inland basin is expected to increase oil production and generate higher income to the nation, thus providing more funds and linkages for speedy development of other sectors of the economy, " he noted.