President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated the first oil drilling of the Ebenyi-A Exploration Well located in the Middle Benue Trough in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Mr Buhari, in his virtual spud-in ceremony of the Well admonished the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) and its partners to take due care of the environmental consequences of the oil exploration activities and to mitigate the negative effects.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State and Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, among others, performed the spud-in ceremony on behalf of Buhari.
Other dignitaries were Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Emir of Lafia, Bage Muhammad and some royal fathers.
Mr Buhari said the new oil discovery was in line with the ongoing campaigns to explore crude oil and gas in the nation’s Frontier Basins.
This, he said included the Chad Basin, Dahomey Basin, Anambra Platform, the Calabar Embankment, Sokoto Basin, Bida Basin, Benue Trough, as well as the Ultra-Deepwater Niger Delta.
“Today’s occasion marks the official commencement of exploration drilling activities in the Middle Benue Trough.
“This is consistent with the commercial discoveries of hydrocarbons in the Kolmani Area of the Upper Benue Trough.
“I am pleased to note that activities are ongoing to develop the Kolmani petroleum discoveries to commercial production to add to the nation’s considerable hydrocarbon assets.
“I am encouraged by the enormous work done by NNPC Limited to exploit the prospects in the Middle Benue Trough, leading to the event of today,” he said.
The president congratulated the NNPCL, the NUPRC and other partners for their immense contributions toward making the exploration possible.
He expressed pleasure with the consequent positive outcomes of the drilling campaigns, which he said would lead to greater prosperity for Nigerians and especially enhance overall energy security.
Mr Buhari further said that the surrounding communities would particularly benefit from the value created by the exploration and the eventual production activities.
He expressed gratitude also to the government and people of Nasarawa, especially the host community for their unfettered support and collaboration toward the success of the exploration campaign.