Vice President Namadi Sambo on Friday said he was happy that surveys have indicated the presence of oil about 3350 square metres in the Lake Chad Basin, in the far North Eastern Borno State of Nigeria.
Speaking at a meeting convened with experts within the NNPC and other public sectors at the State House, Abuja, Vice President Namadi Sambo expressed the appreciation of the Federal Government to the NNPC in the positive progress they are making in the exploration of hydro carbon at the Chad Basin.
He noted that the budget provision is based on activity assessment and that the efforts so far expended and the achievements recorded so far will lead to the realisation of the targeted goal.
He directed that a meeting with Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), a conglomerate that is presently working with the NNPC on the project, should be convened as a step to engaging willing and ready investors that will facilitate speedy and timely exploration in the second phase of the exercise.
He reaffirmed the Federal Government resolved to explore oil on the Lake Chad Basin contrary to the allusion in some quarters that government is not serious in doing so.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andy Yakubu, said “despite the insinuations making the rounds that the corporation is not doing much on the exploration of the hydro carbon on the Lake Chad, NNPC was doing a lot to realise the noble objective of the Federal Government. An integrated team of consortium of consultants set up by the Federal Government to study the possibility of exploring oil has identified 3350Sqm which was recommended for further investigation.”
Yakubu added that on the submission of the report of the investigation into the exploration of oil in the area, NNPC commissioned its subsidiary and consultants to start the exploration. The consultants include Chinese companies that had worked in similar ventures in Niger and Chad where crude oil has been found in commercial quantity.
He noted that due to the high technology employed for the exploration, the area was divided into four phases and that work is currently ongoing on the fifth phase.
Yakubu further added that three major sub-basins in the Lake Chad area namely Biu, Maiduguri and Barga had been identified and marked as low risk while work is currently going on in that area.
He, however, pointed out that lack of security and adequate funding are the major challenges being faced in the speedy execution of the project.