The Director of Centre of Applied Sciences and Technology Research (CASTER) of Ibrahim Badamasi Univeraity (IBBU) Lapai, Prof Nuhu Obaje has stated that that there is crude potential in the Bida Basin contrary to recent media reports dismissing the research efforts in the area.
Media reports had quoted the Group Managing Director of the National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr Makanti Baru as saying at the second combined convocation of the IBBU recently that there is no crude potential in the Bida Basin.
However, speaking during a distinguished visiting geoscientists lecture of American Association of Petroleum Geologists AAPG at the weekend, Obaje who is also the lead researcher at the basin said the university has been committed to the hydrocarbon exploration research in the Bida Basin long before the strategic partnership with NNPC commenced.
"What we have been saying at IBBU have been that we are making progress and moving forward. Even from the GMD’s explanation that we are on the 4th stage, if the 1st to 3rd stage were faulty, you would not get onto the 4th stage. So there have been no controversies at all. The elements are coming together and when the cycle is complete NNPC with IBBU standing-by, will drill for oil and/or gas at the appropriate locations.
"There have been previous claims attributed to IBBU and also to Niger State Government that oil has been discovered in commercial quantities in the Bida Basin. These were just media hypes. We knew more than that to jump to such conclusions. At IBBU, our results are in high impact journals (prior to NNPC intervention) and nowhere there were oil discovery reported.
"That is not to say we are not heading for success. We are surely heading for success as the elements are coming together. We have studied the inland basins deeply and juxtaposing them against analogous in Niger Republic, Chad, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Libya, we have great courage to expect some level of discoveries in the Bida Basin, Sokoto Basin, Benue Trough and Chad Basin. Anambra and Dahomey Basins have already recorded some discoveries," he explained.
He said the results obtained had always been forwarded to the Federal Government (DPR) and the NNPC, adding that these efforts necessitated the commencement of the strategic partnership with the University and the directive by President Muhammadu that the Bida Basin should be thoroughly explored.
Professor Obaje noted that the NNPC GMD’s narratives during his fellowship acceptance speech was read negatively.
He stressed that the NNPC has not withdrawn its support from the Bida Basin exploration program or condemned it in anyway.