The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has commenced the search for hydro carbon in parts of Niger state the ,Group Managing Director GMD Malam Mele Kolo Kyari.

Kyari said in Minna during a courtesy visit on Governor Abubakar Sani Bello on Wednesday that “the quest for this exploration journey was driven by the sedimentary Basins potentials for the generation of hydrocarbon as has been proven from several studies conducted in- house and by other experts across the globe”.

The GMD said ” Significant progress is being made in the ongoing exploration of inland basins, with a realistic and achieves level target of growing the nation reserve to 40 billion barrel by 2023″.

Nigeria present oil reserve stands at 39.9billion barrels.

Represented by the Group General Manager (GGM) frontier exploration services, Alhaji Abdullahi Bomai, Kayari said “efffoerts in research for hydrocarbons in the Frontier Basins have been intensified and more geological target identified for further exploration”, pointing out that 600km of 2D seismic data will b acquired over prospects in the Bida Basin to further evaluate the potential of the Basin.

Kyari disclosed that the exploration covers eight local government areas in Niger state, including Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai, with two other unnamed LGAs in Kwara and one in Kogi state.

The GMD said in the course of the operation, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers will be engaged into different categories, while many light vehicles and different types of heavy duty and articulated vehicles will be used for the movement of personnel, essential supply seismic sources.

Kyari however reminded the people that such explorations are “usually associated with damages to land, crops and economic trees”, pointing out that the NNPC “is mindful that most of our rural inhabitants are farmers and secure livelihoods out of the endowment of their forest resources”, but assured that “should not cause any panic or disturbance.

“It is industry standard to access such damages and provide appropriate compensations to affected persons and /or communities.

Kyari emphasized that NNPC is determined to carry out detailed exploration of the Basin, using the best industry standard and technology with the hope of finding commercial deposit of oil and gas.

Responding, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello commended NNPC for embarking on the oil exploration in Bida Basin which he said will improve the economic base of not only the state but the country as a whole.

Governor Bello added that the government will mobilize the people to give adequate support to officials engage in the exploration.

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