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President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurates OPLS

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By Mercy Kelani

NNPC’s oil exploration activities discovered commercial quantities of oil.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) receives concrete support from President Muhammadu Buhari due for its exploration of oil activities across basins of the country for the development of Nigeria’s national oil reserve. Also, on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, the president conducted the inauguration of the Kolmani Oil Prospecting Lease (OPLS) 809 and 810. The ceremony was held at the Kolmani River II Well which has its location at a border community between Bauchi and Gombe States.

In October 2019, when the announcement of the availability of oil in commercial quantities at the Kolmani River Well II was made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), President Muhammadu Buhari carried out his first supervision of the drilling exercise. However, the ceremony and supervision were conducted with total support from the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and many other government officials and NNPC officials.

This discovery assures a bright future for Nigeria if it’s not political.

An anonymous speaker asserted that Sterling Global Oil, the NNPC Limited and New Nigeria Development Commission (NNDC) will be responsible for the development of the oilfields in Bauchi and Gombe States. Policy analysts and top tier players in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry salute the president for his support with the assurance that this move would positively impact the NNPC’s exploration for more oil. It was also stated that this would call the attention of local and foreign Investors towards the efforts of Nigeria in making efficient use of its natural resources.

According to one of the analysts, NNPC was able to proceed in the aggressive search of oil for the improvement of Nigeria’s oil and gas reserves as a result of the signing of the landmark Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) into law in 2021. As long as the supervision would not bring about political discoveries but discoveries of real oil, a consultant for national and international oil companies stated that it would fetch bright prospects for the oil and gas industry and Nigeria.

Bauchi State Governor believes the move would end poverty & unemployment.

The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) lauded the NNPC and the Chief Executive Officer for NNPC for the execution of oil exploration in the Benue Trough and Chad Basin regardless of the Corona Pandemic. President of NAPE during this period, Mr. Alex Tarka, said that NNPC’s oil exploration has gained the attention of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) having previously considered partnership with them. Then, he advised the Federal Government not to wait for investors before proceeding with oil exploration in the Benue Trough.

In October 2019, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) announced its discovery of massive commercial quantities of oil and gas in Kolmani River. After this announcement, a proposal of a power plant and an onsite midstream refinery was made by NPDC with the aim of creating an industrial hub for generation of employment and provision of economic benefits. The Kolmani River II Well was drilled 2019 while the Kolmani River III was drilled in 2021 with affirmation by Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, that it would change the narrative of Poverty and Underdevelopment in the state.

Illegal refining, insecurity and oil theft threatens the industry.

Additionally, the national oil and gas industry is confronted by challenges which include contracting and long procurement cycles, illegal refining, Insecurity and Oil Theft. Continuous reduction in the exploration of hydrocarbon leads to collapse of industries, loss of Revenue and many more. Additionally, the decline in oil price, insecurity, oil theft and illegal refining poses greater threats to the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Nonetheless, the continuous oil exploration of NNPC will help the industry achieve the goal of 40 billion barrels crude reserve and three million production mark.


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