The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed on Sunday that the country was on the verge of a significant oil discovery in the Lake Chad area in northeast Nigeria.
Dr Kachikwu, who made this in a statement by the NNPC spokesman, Ohi Alegbe, said the information was based on the analysis of recent seismic 3D data generated from the Chad Basin, adding that a major announcement to this effect could come by the end of this year.
In a presentation entitled ‘Ongoing Reforms in the Oil Industry: Impact of NNPC Reforms on the Nigerian Economy,’ which he presented to the Petroleum Club, Lagos, at the weekend, the NNPC boss stated that the Corporation was injecting a lot of energy into efforts to find oil in the region to ensure success in this regard.
He said, “There are signs from the latest 3D seismic studies that oil may well be very close to being found now in Lake Chad after very many years of trying. I think that this is very key. It is key both for the geographical balancing of oil production and it is also very key for the purpose of refinery placement in the North in terms of access to crude.
“I am optimistic that by the end of the year we should be able to announce something major on this.”
The NNPC GMD noted further that in driving and developing Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, certain key areas of urgent intervention had been identified. One of these areas, he said, includes running production acreages with transparent and profitable partnerships to bridge capacity and funding gaps.
Others are encouraging investment inflow into Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, engagement with local communities and driving regulation to develop the sector income via encouraging the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to clarify direction and encourage long-term investment in the industry.
Providing specifics on the intervention targets, Kachikwu stated that the NNPC was projecting the inflow of N20 billion in 2016 to enable the Corporation fund major projects and improve its bottom line going forward.