President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated the Wadi-B Drilling Well Campaign in Borno State signalling the formal resumption of crude oil and gas exploration activities in Chad Basin area.
Prof. Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno, performed the spud-in ceremony on behalf of the President.
The project is being handled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPC Ltd, in collaboration with the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC.
Wadi-B Prospect (OPL 732), Chad Basin, is located at Tuba Community, Jere Local Government Area of Borno, 50km away from Maiduguri.
The Seismic Acquisition of the project started in 1995, while its oil discovery search was announced in 2015 but suspended due to insurgency.
He said exploration activities had been ongoing in the Chad Basin since 1976 while the discovery of some commercial gas quantities at Wadi-1 Well was in 1985 and suspended in 1995.
He said this was to allow petroleum system re-evaluation activities in the entire Frontier Basins.
He said the NNPC Ltd since then conducted extensive analysis in all frontier basins leading to the successful discovery and drilling of crude oil and gas in commercial quantities in Kolmani River II at Bauchi/Gombe States.
He said NNPC Ltd. also provided insights into drilling campaign in Nasarawa State and current re-entry activities in Chad basin exploration which, he said would increase the nation’s crude oil and gas reserve and enhance energy security.
The President, while commending NNPC management, also commended the NUPRC on its collaborative effort and quest towards developing the hydrocarbon potentials of the country’s frontiers basin.
In an address, Mele Kyari, Group CEO, NNPC Ltd. said the re-mobilisation of a drilling rig to the Chad Basin for the first time since the 1980s efforts indeed underscored the visionary leadership of Mr President.
“Today, we are honoured to have Mr President bring back hydrocarbon exploration activities to Chad Basin.
Mr Kyari said Wadi-B well was considered an Appraisal/Exploration well as it had been designed to appraise seven hydrocarbon reservoir depth levels encountered by the Wadi-1 well that was drilled in 1985 and to explore deeper hydrocarbon reservoir targets up to a total depth of four Kilometres.
He expressed commitment to carry out detailed exploration of the Frontier Sedimentary Basins using the best industry standards and technologies, with the aim of attaining commercial discoveries of crude oil and gas.
“As a commercial enterprise, NNPC sees this project as an opportunity to monetise our abundant hydrocarbon resources, by Expanding Access to Energy to support economic growth, industrialisation, and job creation across the country.
“Our renewed drilling campaign has a higher geological chance of making commercial discoveries of hydrocarbons as we are equipped with state-of-theart integrated geophysical datasets.
“Therefore, this is a spud-in event that will reinforce the government’s commitment for exploration in the Nation’s Frontier Basins, primarily aimed at increasing the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves,” Mr Kyari said.
Kyari, while thanking the President for the visionary leadership, also lauded the governor of Borno for achieving this historic milestone.
Wadi-B Well has a lot of prospects including projected total depth of 14,000 feet, using the ACME Energy Services rig with the capacity of 2000 horse power plus.
The event was attended by many dignitaries, including NNPC Ltd. Board Chairman, Sen. Margery Okadigbo, Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC.
Others in attendance were Gbenga Komolafe, and Dr Abubakar Umar, Chairman, Borno State Council of Traditional Rulers and Shehu of Borno among others.