President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to start oil exploration at the Kolmani River-II well, located at Barambu, a border village between Gombe and Bauchi States.
During the inauguration of oil drilling, President Buhari said that in spite of the diversification of the nation’s economy by his administration as well as the dwindling oil price at the international market, the commodity was still essential to the country’s economic survival. He said:
“The spud-in of Kolmani River-II well, part of the Gongola Basin, Upper Benue Trough was part of his next level agenda to make Nigeria an industrial economy.
“Today’s event is not only a reflection of our success story but a landmark of promise kept to the Nigerian people.
“Our next level is to ensure exploration effort in all our frontier Basins of Lake Chad, Gongola, Anambra, Sokoto, Dahomey, and Bida Basins, as well as Benue Trough are intensified to usher in more prospects in Nigeria.
“Oil and gas remains critical to the Nigerian economy of today and the future. It remains key to the successful implementation of our budget at all levels of Government.
“The golden era of high oil prices may not be here now but oil and gas resources remain the most immediate and practical keys to our aggressive efforts at diversifying the economy.
“As important as it is to ensure that other critical sectors of the economy are supported to grow and contribute more to the Nation’s economy, we still need a virile oil and gas Industry to take care of the challenges of the moment and to invest for the future.”
The Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, warned that oil was discovered in Niger Delta after 50 years of searching, while in some other countries, it took several decades and search in numerous wells before the discovery. He called for patience from the president, who gave them the marching orders to search for crude in the north, from people of the North-East zone and the entire Nigerians.
He called for patience from the president, who gave them the marching orders to search for crude in the north, from people of the North-East zone and the entire Nigerians. He said:
“It usually takes time for oil to be discovered. In Niger Delta basin, it took over 50 years for explorations to discover crude oil.
‘’Niger Republic drilled over 600 wells over many years before they discovered crude oil, therefore, Mr. President, patience is of essence here.”
Baru, however, assured that the NNPC will leave no stone unturned in executing the directive of the Presidency, while assuring that the NNPC would sustain the intensity of the ongoing oil and gas exploration in the inland basins.