Discovery of oil in northern Nigeria crucial to Nigeria’s survival as a nation – Timipre Sylva

Discovery of oil in northern Nigeria crucial to Nigeria’s survival as a nation – Timipre Sylva

The discovery of 1 billion barrels of crude oil at the Kolmani oil field site in Alkaleri, Bauchi State, will be critical to the country’s economic survival.

This was revealed by Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum, at the Presidential Flag-off Ceremony of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project, which took place on Tuesday at the Kolmani oil field site, on the border between Bauchi and Gombe States.

The project partner, the New Nigeria Development Company, is owned by the 19 states of Northern Nigeria. 

Ending energy poverty: Sylva noted that Nigeria is rich in hydrocarbon resources and that the  FG is committed to ending energy poverty and creating shared prosperity. 

In 2019, the NNPC stated it had found oil in commercial quantity at Kolmani River Well 2 after years of geological explorations. That was despite the enormity of challenges encountered by the NNPC in the drilling for hydrocarbons in northern Nigeria. 




  • “This will boost infrastructure and industrial development in Nigeria; this is the motivation that has sustained the quest for the Petroleum Industry Act in 2021,” he said. 

He also stated that one of the key mandates of the ministry is employing frontier development funds to commence frontier basins and boost oil reserves from 37 billion to 40 billion. 

  • “The key implication of these measures is that Nigeria needs to seek sustainability and expand capital for government spending. Drilling for hydrocarbons in the frontier development is crucial to Nigeria’s survival as a nation,” he said.

He also thanked President Buhari for his support and guidance in supervising the drilling exercise, which he said is prosperous for Nigeria’s petroleum industry, stating it would go down in history that during his tenure Northern Nigeria has become an oil-producing region. 

Mele Kyari, the GMD of NNPC Ltd. noted that the search for oil in frontier basins in Nigeria has spanned decades without significant outcomes. 

He noted that the determination of President Buhari to explore oil in the North to prosecute exploration activities led to the Kolmani project. 

  • “We are convinced that the collaboration will drive value to Nigeria and use de-risking values to make the project”

Economic potential: The NNPC noted that the Kolmani oil site would also have a petrochemical refining site with an oil refinery of 120,000 bpd, a gas processing site of 500 million cubic feet per day, and also a 300 MW power plant. 



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