Two months after the presidential flag off of oil drilling in the Kolmani oil well straddling Gombe and Bauchi states, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) announced on Friday that it would commence drilling for oil in Nasarawa State in continuation of its oil exploration activities in the country’s inland basins.
The NNPC said the ‘spudding’, which is the beginning of the process of drilling a well in the oil and gas industry, involves the clearing of a surface hole, then lining it with casing and cement to protect groundwater. This, the NNPC said would start in March, this year.
Chief Corporate Communications Officer of the NNPC, Garba Muhammad, in a statement, noted that the Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mallam Mele Kyari, made the disclosure of the Nasarawa drilling when the Governor of the State, Abdullahi Sule, led a delegation of prominent indigenes of the state on a courtesy visit to the NNPC Ltd. in Abuja.
The announcement is coming about two months after the inauguration of the Kolmani oil well which straddles Gombe and Bauchi states.
The Kolmani project entails an oil refinery of up to 120,000 barrels per day capacity, a gas processing plant of up to 500 million standard cubic feet per day, a power plant of up to 300-megawatt capacity and a fertiliser plant of 2,500 tons per day.
Kyari stated that results of exploratory activities confirmed the presence of substantial hydrocarbon resources in Nasarawa State.
The NNPC boss called for prompt action on the project as the global energy transition has led to a reduction in investment in fossil fuels.
“This work must be done very fast because the whole world is walking away from fossil fuel due to energy transition, the earlier you go to market, the better for you, otherwise, 10 years from now, no one will agree to put money in petroleum business except it comes from your cash flow,” he said.
Kyari added that community support and a conducive environment was key to a successful operation in the area in order to avoid the experience of the Niger Delta.
In his response, Sule congratulated the GCEO of NNPC on the successful commencement of oil production and the Kolmani Integrated Development Project, which was launched in November 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari, which he described as similar to what obtains in Saudi Arabia.
“I want to congratulate you, the management of NNPC and the federal government for what you have done at Kolmani, for those who don’t know what you have done for Nigeria, you have written your name in gold,” Sule stated.
He commended President Buhari for his support while assuring the NNPC of a conducive environment.
According to the statement, the governor was accompanied on the visit by his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe; National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and first governor of the State, Dr. Abdullahi Adamu; his predecessor, Senator Tanko Almakura; Minister of Environment, Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi; and Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad, amongst others.
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos