Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, said on Wednesday that plans were underway to grow the nation’s reserve to 40 billion barrels by the year 2023.
Kyari, who stated this during the unveiling of 2D seismic data acquisition in the Bida/Sokoto Basin in Minna, Niger State, said efforts were ongoing for exploration of inland basins with a realistic and achievable target of growing the nation’s reserve.
Kyari, who was represented by Alhaji Abdullahi Bomai, Group General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services, explained that 600 kilometers of two dimensional seismic data would be required as prospects in Bida Basin to further evaluate the potential of the basin.
He said that the programme would cover eight local government areas in Niger state which include; Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai, adding that two were in Kwara and one in Kogi.
According to him, a lot of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers will be engaged into different categories, adding that the operations were usually associated with damage to land, crops and economic trees.
“It is the industry standard to assess such damages and provide appropriate compensations to affected persons and communities so as not to cause panic or disturbance”.
The GMD disclosed that surface geochemistry, ground gravity/ magnetic, stress field detection, full tensor gradiometer aerial surveys had been deployed to further explore large areas and derrick prospects in the frontier basin.
He said they have also identified prospective hydrocarbon exploration targets in the basin, adding that the samples collection and preparation was carried out by IBB University Lapai consultancy services.
Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello, commended the management of NNPC involved in the process research and expressed optimism that the state would soon be among oil producing state.
He said that the state government would give necessary support and cooperation needed for the commencement of hydrocarbon exploration in the state, noting that aside, revenue and financial advantages, it would create jobs and give Niger people the opportunity to acquire training on oil and gas.
“Beyond the financial benefits, it will bring about social and economic development of host communities, carry the communities along and engage them as host communities to avoid issues”.