Crude oil has been discovered in the Benue Trough in commercial quantity, with Nigerian geologists spearheading the efforts, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari has said.
Kyari stated this while delivering a goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the 38th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) where he was a Special Guest, a statement from the corporation said on Thursday.
He reiterated NNPC’s resolve to grow the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves to 40billion barrels through reinvigorated exploratory activities in the inland frontier basins across the country.
The statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, quoted Mallam Kyari as said the strategy is to aggressively explore for more oil in the frontier basins in order to grow the nation’s reserve base, in line with the Federal Government’s aspiration to hit the 40billion barrels reserve target.
Mallam Kyari said the theme of this year’s conference: “Accelerating Growth in Nigeria’s Hydrocarbon Reserves: Emerging Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities” fits squarely into NNPC’s key aspiration, which is to grow the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves, reduce unit operating cost of crude oil production to $10 per barrel and improve efficiency across its businesses.
“It is my pleasure to appreciate the good work and resilience of our in-house professionals in the ongoing inland basins exploration activities that culminated in the recent discovery of hydrocarbons in Benue Trough. NNPC is indeed proud that it is NAPE members that are spearheading this effort,” Mallam Kyari stated.
According to him, the NNPC has made significant progress in improving operational efficiency through the adoption of technology and deliberate effort to curtail soaring cost of operations across strategic assets.
“It is instructive to understand that the current market reality cannot support inefficiency and escalated costs of operations. The era of $30/bbl oil no longer exists.
“In today’s Covid-19 defined market, sustaining operations and making progress means that all stakeholders must recognize the need to improve efficiency, reduce costs, eliminate wastages, entrench accountability, act with transparency and embrace technology and innovation to drive performance and value realization across strategic investment portfolios,” he posited.
The NNPC helmsman added that in the face of the energy transition, the Corporation is focused on developing gas infrastructure and deepening domestic gas utilization, stressing that gas is the energy of the future.
The GMD expressed optimism that the Petroleum Industry Bill would be passed next year, noting that the fiscal environment proposed would attract more investment into the Oil and Gas Industry.
He assured NAPE and all other industry operators of sustained collaboration from NNPC, saying that the strategy of synergy was required in order to drive down operating cost and survive the emerging challenges in the industry.