Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva, says the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will soon resume oil exploration and drilling in the Lake Chad Basin. Silva disclosed this while speaking to newsmen after an operational meeting on Chad Basin with the Chief of Army Staff and top officers and commanders of Nigerian Army on Thursday in Maiduguri.
Oil search in the Chad Basin was suspended after a team of NNPC Frontier Exploration Services and their consultants from the University of Maiduguri were attacked and some of them abducted on July 25, 2017. He said the decision to recommence exploration activities in the region was borne out of the successes so far recorded by the military in securing the region from the Boko Haram insurgents.
The minister commended Buratai and the Nigerian Army for their resilience and gallantry in the quest to liberate the North East from insurgents as well making the entire country safe and secure. He said the meeting was to solicit for the collaboration of Nigerian army in ensuring that adequate security was provided for the team of experts that would carry out the exploration activities.
“The reason we came here is to first and foremost thank the chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army for the great job they have continued to perform in the North East. “We believe that without their gallant activities here we in Abuja will not also be leaving safely, neither will we be leaving safely anywhere in the world.
“Having thanked them, we also want to commence exploration and drilling activities here because we believe that there is relative peace in this area enough for us to continue drilling activities in the North East. “As you may well know, we have found oil in Gombe and we believe that there is a lot of oil to be found in the Chad Basin, we have seen a lot of prospects in the Chad Basin and we want to commence exploration and drilling activities.
“That is why we are collaborating with Nigeria army to ensure that security is provided for activities to commence very soon,” he said. The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, was attended by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari and other top management staff of NNPC and the ministry.
Also in attendance are the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) counterpart, Maj.-Gen. Yusuf Ibrahim and other top officers.