The ongoing oil exploration in Nigeria’s frontier basins is to grow the country’s crude oil reserves from 37 billion barrels to 50 billion barrels, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, announced on Tuesday.

NNPCL also commenced the official spud-in (drilling) for crude in the Ebenyi-A Well in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State on Tuesday, and stated that the well would support in hitting the 50 billion barrels oil reserves target.

This is coming four months after NNPCL flagged off oil production in the Kolmani oil well, located between Bauchi and Gombe states, in November 2022.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, told the audience at the Ebenyi-A Well site on Tuesday that the oil firm had moved a drilling rig to the location, and was optimistic of boosting Nigeria’s daily oil output to about three million barrels.

“Today, we have mobiliaed the drilling rig to this site, here in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. We are optimistic that the positive outcome of this campaign will contribute to the national aspiration of increasing our hydrocarbon reserves from 37 billion barrels to 50 billion barreis, in the short to medium term and increase our crude oil production to a target of three million barrels (per day).

“I wish to reiterate that NNPC Ltd in conjunction with the NURPC (Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission) are committed to conducting exploration activities of the nation’s frontier basins that spans the Chad Basin, Upper and Lower Benue troughs, Bida Basin, the Sokoto Basin, Dahomey, Anambra platform, Calabar embarkment and the Ultra deep water Niger Delta, using the best industry standards and technologies,” Kyari stated

He also stated that mobilisation for re-entry into the Chad Basin had commenced, as directed by the President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), adding that the oil company was making progress in other activities in the frontier basins.

President Buhari, who spoke virtually during the event, said the Ebenyi-A Well, located in the Middle Benue Trough, was in line with the ongoing campaigns for the exploration of crude oil and gas in the nation’s frontier basins.

He outlined the basins to include the Chad Basin, Dahomey Basin, Anambra Platform, Calabar Embankment, Sokoto Basin, Bida Basin, Benue Trough, as well as the Ultra-Deepwater Niger Delta.

“Today’s occasion marks the official commencement of exploration drilling activities in the Middle Benue Trough. This is consistent with the commercial discoveries of hydrocarbons in the Kolmani Area of the Upper Benue Trough.

“I am pleased to note that activities are currently ongoing to develop the Kolmani petroleum discoveries to commercial production to add to the nation’s considerable hydrocarbon assets,” Buhari stated.

The President said he was encouraged by the work done by NNPC Ltd to exploit the prospects in the Middle Benue Trough, leading to the event of Tuesday in Nasarawa.

“The consequent positive outcomes of these drilling campaigns will lead to greater prosperity for our people and especially enhance overall energy security for our country.

“No doubt, the surrounding communities will particularly benefit from the value that will be created by the exploration and eventual production activities.

“I am also admonishing NNPC Ltd and its partners to take due care of the environmental consequences of these oil exploration activities and to mitigate the negative effects,” Buhari stated.

He appreciated and the government and people of Nasarawa State for their support and collaboration towards the success of the exploration campaign.

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