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Nigeria to increase petroleum exploration reserve to 40 million barrels by 2030 -Ogbonnaya Onu

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The Federal Government has reiterated its determination towards increasing the petroleum reserve of the country from the current 36 million barrels to 40 million barrels million by the year 2030.

The process of increasing the reserve will be done through the diversification of the petroleum source from the Niger Delta basin to include the frontier basins of Anambra, Benue, Bida, Chad among others.

The disclosure was made by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu while making opening remarks at a two-day national workshop on petroleum research activities in Nigeria’s inland basins held at Chartwell Hotel, Bauchi on Monday.

Onu, who was Chairman of the occasion, spoke via zoom through the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. Eli Bala.

He said: “We are all aware of the desire of the Federal Government to grow our petroleum reserve to about 40 billion barrels by 2030; and the need to diversify the source from the prolific Niger Delta basin to include the Frontier Basins of Anambra, Benue, Bida, Chad, onshore Dahomey and Sokoto.

“We are aware of exploration successes in the Anambra and Dahomey basins but, until recently, none in the Northern Basins”.

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According to the Minister, “Research and development is the only instrument that will diversify, grow and sustain our economic development in this country. It Is in this light that government through my Ministry, supports Energy Commission of Nigeria to increase our national energy reliance through sustainable research and development activities.

“I am pleased to acknowledge that within the last decade of its research activities in the Benue Trough, the National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development located in ATBU, Bauchi has developed tectonostratigraphic and petroleum system models for the Gongola sub-basin of the Northern Benue Trough and the entire Benue Trough of Nigeria, which suggested the expected structural types/styles capable of trapping hydrocarbon in the Basin(s).”

According to him, the several successes recorded, including the nature of discovered oil in the Northern Benue trough, is in agreement with the exploration model developed by the Centre adding that Research and Development contributions in this direction by ATBU, Bauchi towards the realization of the objectives of the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to increase Nigeria’s hydrocarbon reserve and consolidate the national economy.

“As a country, we have already keyed into the desired transformation needed for robust oil and gas development and management. The Petroleum Industry Act, despite the many criticisms, holds a very important place in the actualization of a vibrant petroleum industry,” he said.

In his own remark, the Chief Host, the DG of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, said that in 2007, the National Center for Petroleum Research and Development was established in each geopolitical zone of the country to serve as a research arm of the ECN.

“It is imperative to clarify that Nigeria’s Inland Basins are also Frontier Basins because extensive petroleum exploration activities have not been carried out and significant oil and gas are yet undiscovered,” the DG said.

“The Energy Commission of Nigeria in 2007, sought and obtained the approval from Mr. President, who is the Chairman of the Commission, established the National Center for Petroleum Research and Development among other Research Centers, one located in each geopolitical zone of the country and are university based.

“It is to serve as the Commission’s arm for Research and Development primarily, in the areas of exploration and exploitation of petroleum and other energy resources from underground in Nigeria.”

The workshop was organized by the Energy Commission of Nigeria, through the National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development located at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, with the theme: “Petroleum Exploration and Environmental Control in the Nigerian Context: Implications for Sustainable Petroleum Exploration in Nigeria.”

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