By Ese Awhotu
Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam has called on the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to begin oil prospecting in the Yobe sector of the Lake Chad Basin.
He said that ‘structural and geologic similarities’ between Yobe State and neighbouring Niger and Chad Republics, where oil have been found in commercial quantities in their sectors of the Lake Chad Basin, may point to the availability of hydrocarbon deposits in the state.
Gaidam spoke yesterday during a visit to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC Dr. Maikanti Kachallah Baru at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja.
“The GMD may note that our request for the exploration of oil in the Yobe sector of the Chad Basin is informed by the discovery of Crude Oil in neighbouring Chad and Niger Republics. The parts of these neighbouring countries where oil discoveries were made have been ascertained to have common structural features with the Chad Basin part of the North East, especially Borno and Yobe States”, he said.
The governor added: “It is in view of this that I appeal to the Federal Government through the Group Managing Director, NNPC to commence the exploration of oil and gas in the Chad Basin section of Yobe State as early as possible. I am aware that security concerns constitute a major hindrance to exploration activity in the region. However, it may interest you all to note that Yobe State is currently very peaceful for any exploration activities to start”, he said.
Gaidam explained that said his call for oil search in Yobe State is informed by the commitment of the federal government to increase the nation’s oil reserves through the exploration of oil and gas in the Lake Chad Basin. “This policy direction of the Federal Government is of interest to us because the basin covers a large area including Yobe State”, he said.
The governor commended the NNPC under Baru for reforms that are sanitizing the nation’s oil and gas sector. “The reforms you introduced since your assumption of office have created unprecedented developments in the oil and gas industry. They have checked the problem of incessant scarcity of petroleum products, increased the revenue accruable from the oil and gas sector and have led to substantial increases in the contributions of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Plants to the national economy”, the governor said.
Gaidam also assured the NNPC GMD that the Yobe State Government will “support, cooperate and collaborate with the NNPC” for the success of oil exploration activities in the state.
On his part, Dr. Baru, said that initial investigations by the NNPC have indicated ‘some area of interest in the eastern part of Yobe State’.
“Consequently, we did buy the primary requisition data relating to the gravity and aeromagnetic surveys that pertain to that section of Yobe State… We have seen out of the data some interesting attractions on the eastern part of Yobe State, and our intention is that when normalcy returns, we will subject the data to our approval processes of reconnaissance, of surface data, (and then) integrating it with the aeromagnetic surveys and the indications of basinal fitness to design programmes that we could use in shooting regional lines across those areas of interest and subsequently narrowing down to some of the places that we may see from the regional lines to have a more intense look we are having through the seismic data acquired and the interpreting and processing of that data, we will then be able to plan, based on the possible indications, a detailed 3-Dimensional seismic surveys which could assist us in delineating possible leads and ultimately (hydrocarbon) prospects before we mobilize for drilling”, Dr. Baru said.
The NNPC GMD assured that as soon as normalcy returns and the NNPC gets clearance from security agencies, oil search in the Lake Chad Basin will resume.