Speculations about commercial crude oil find in the Bida Basin are unfounded, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, said.
Mr Baru who was delivering a speech at his conferment with the fellowship the IBB University, Lapai on Saturday, urged the public to discountenance the report.
A statement of his speech was sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday by NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu.
Apparently alluding to a premature reporting on the progress on the ongoing search for oil in the basin, Mr Baru said the NNPC was only at the fourth out of ten intensive stages before determining if hydrocarbon has been generated in the basin.
Upon completion of determination of hydrocarbon generated, Mr Baru said, the NNPC would still have to initiate another six stages of integration of the studies.
These include identifying positive hydrocarbon anomalies; acquisition of 2-dimensional seismic data over anomalies; acquisition of 3-Dimensional seismic data to validate identified structures; drilling of exploration wells; drilling of appraisal wells, and evaluation of the engineering and economic parameters required.
Mr Baru said the NNPC recognised the Bida basin exploration was in the fourth stage of these activities.
“It is important to state that efforts have not advanced to the level of declaring discoveries, talk-less of claiming the oil and gas present is in commercial quantities,” the NNPC boss said.
“It is also imperative to state that even after commercial discovery of hydrocarbons, it is pertinent that pronouncements be made only after due validation of claims by the industry regulator – the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR),” he added.
Mr Baru who was speaking on the topic: “The Role of Inland Basins in Unlocking the Socio-Economic Benefits of a New Nigeria”, said the NNPC was determined to discover oil and gas in the frontier basins.
With the clarification, Mr Baru urged the public to ensure all claims and counter claims in respect of the Bida Basin hydrocarbon discoveries be given a befitting rest till the conclusion of the current NNPC-led efforts to find oil or any other ones in that respect are concluded.
He said NNPC’s foray into the inland basins was to expand its exploration footprint to improve the country’s oil and gas reserves, increase oil and gas production and spin-off socio-economic activities nationwide.
According to him, NNPC, through its relevant subsidiaries. was currently engaged in aggressive exploration campaign at most inland basins to discover new oil and gas reserves to boost oil and gas production and extend the economic benefits to the people within those basins and the nation at large.
The NNPC GMD said as the concessionaire of all oil blocks in these basins, the corporation was committed to work with all groups in the Bida basin and beyond to advance the current efforts to fruition.
He said all parties must follow all the laid down regulations for reporting such discoveries.
Apart from the backing from the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and support by the Niger State government, Mr Baru commended the IBB University for carrying out the characterisation studies of the Bida basin.
He said the studies would help NNPC in the ongoing exploration activities in the basin.
He assured that NNPC would continue to engage the university for further support in areas relating to the ongoing exploration in Bida basin.
The Niger State governor thanked the NNPC for engaging the university on the basin exploration, saying the GMD deserved the recognition bestowed on him by the university.
The Pro-Chancellor of the university, Mohammed Santuraki, also hailed Mr Baru on the efficient way he runs NNPC, which has positively impacted the lives of Nigerians .
In his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Muhammad Maiturare, thanked Mr Baru and the NNPC for partnering with the university in the Bida basin exploratory activities.
He assured that the university would continue to contribute its quota to the oil search in the basin.