President Muhammadu Buhari and other top personalities flagging off the drilling programme
Following the commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has announced that it has started drilling for oil and gas at a field in northern Nigeria with reserves estimated at one billion barrels.
The statement added that the oil field also has 500 billion cubic feet of gas. The NNPC in the statement said the phase one of the Kolmani Integrated Development project in the northeast of Bauchi and Gombe States, comprising an oil refinery, gas processing unit, 300-megawatt power plant and fertilizer plant producing 2,500 tonnes a day.
Buhari supervised the first oil drill, coming after 30 years of exploration in the field, which straddles Oil Prospecting Licence (OPLs) 809 and 810. The field is held by the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) Limited, an investment company established by the 19 northern states and local firm, Sterling Global Oil in partnership with the NNPC in a Production Sharing Contract (PSC).
In 2019, NNPC announced the discovery of crude oil, gas, and condensate in commercial quantities in the Kolmani River area between Bauchi and Gombe states in north-eastern Nigeria, a region being ravaged by insurgents. Nigeria has for years been searching for oil in frontier basins in the largely poor north, including the Lake Chad Basin for decades.
Commenting during the epoch-making event, Buhari said: “It is therefore to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able to attract investment of over $3 billion to this project,” as no oil major is involved in the project.
Buhari urged NNPC and its partners to work with local communities and draw lessons from the restive Niger Delta, where militants have in the past blown up pipelines, accusing oil companies of neglecting locals. Oil was first discovered in the Niger Delta more than six decades ago.
Oil majors in Nigeria are divesting from onshore to focus on offshore drilling due to increasing insecurity and oil theft, which have led to a decline in production and caused Nigeria to lose its status as Africa’s top oil producer.