Exactly two weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari had flagged off the drilling of crude oil at Kolmani field, which is lapping on the border of Bauchi and Gombe states, the House of Representatives has called on the federal government to expedite action on the planned exploration of hydrocarbon (crude oil) deposit in the Bida Basin.
The House also called on the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to conclude the geophysical survey of the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
The resolution followed the consideration and adoption of a motion on notice on the ‘Need to Fast-Track Geo-Physical Survey/Seismic Data Acquisition to Ascertain availability of Hydro-Carbon in Commercial Quantity in the Bida Basin,’ brought on by Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi, member representing Bida/Gbajo/Kacha federal constituency of Niger State.
The lawmaker said “the Bida Basin also known as the Mid-Niger Basin comprise of eight Local Government Areas including Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai in the Southern part of Niger State which extends to two Local Government Areas in Kwara State and one in Kogi State.
He quoted the group managing director of NNPC of earlier announcing that corporation had commenced oil exploration activities in the area and that the exploration could add 40 billion Barrels to Nigeria’s oil reserves by 2023.
According to the lawmaker, NNPC boss disclosed that in-depth geo-logical and geo-chemical studies revealed strong presence of hydrocarbon-bearing indicators confirmed as oil and gas-bearing formations.
He told the house that the Seismic data acquisition contract on the identified areas to determine the volume of the hydrocarbons in the Bida Basin was awarded to Integrated Data Services Limited and the China National Petroleum Corporation International Nigeria Limited by the NNPC management.
He said if the volume of oil in the Bida Basin is established and exploration activities commence fully, Nigeria may in the near future overtake Libya, the country with the largest oil reserve in Africa.
“Expectant that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its relevant Agencies would expedite action for the continuation of the oil exploration activities at the Bida Basin Niger State and other Basins in the Country.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the NNPC Management to fast-track oil exploration across the Country, following Shell’s discovery of hydrocarbons in the Chad Basin and Kolmani River, while the NNPC heeded President Buhari’s directive on the Chad Basin as the people of Niger State are anxious about the slow pace of oil exploration activities in the Bida Basin,” he noted.
The House upon adopting the motion mandated the committees on petroleum resources (Upstream) and legislative compliance to ensure compliance.