Bashir Ahmed, President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide on New Media, shared photos from the first oil drilling sites in the country’s northeastern region on Tuesday.
He captioned: “Good morning, Nigerians, History will be made today, as President @MBuhari supervise the first oil drilling in the Northeastern part of the country at the Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani oil field site located in Bauchi and Gombe States.”
A subsequent post from him read: “Good morning from the Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 810, the Kolmani oil field site, Alkaleri in Bauchi State. The first oil field in the northeastern part of the country. Thank you, Baba.”
Sharing an opinion on Twitter, a concerned Nigerian @Adegbo wrote: “It’s not Baba’s handwork alone, I was a Geology student in FUT Yola in 2012 when some of my lecturers were consulting and prospecting for oil in the Chad basin and North East if you like. It’s a cumulative effort by all the past Govt.”
Recall that three years ago, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva had disclosed that one billion barrels of crude oil has been discovered in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria.
Sylva said that more crude oil would still be discovered and explored in other parts of the country.
The disclosure was made at the 2020 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) held in Abuja.
In his words: “The figure we are getting, the jury is not totally out yet but from the evaluation results we are getting the reserve that has been discovered in the northeast is about a billion barrels.
“Those are the kind of figures we are seeing and we are beginning to understand the geological structure of the region.”
While also commenting on the Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB), Sylva expressed delight on the bill as he noted that it will give gains to the country.
“Today Nigerians all agree that there is a need for us to pass the PIB. For so long we have been quivering about the PIB, for more than 20 years. And for so long, we have not been able to attract a lot of investment into the oil sector.
“Let me give you an example, by the year 2002, our oil reserves stood at around 22 billion barrels. We were able to grow that reserve from 22 billion barrels to 37 billion barrels by 2007,” the minister added.
Concerning today’s development, Buhari is expected to carry out the historic exercise of commissioning the oil sites with the support of the Minister of State for Petroleum and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, among others.
It was learnt that the oilfields in Bauchi and Gombe states will be developed by Sterling Global Oil, New Nigeria Development Commission (NNDC) and the NNPC Limited.