The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, says oil exploration activities in the Chad Basin will resume in six weeks’ time.
Baru made this known in a statement issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu.
Baru said the resumption of oil exploration activities became necessary following improved security in the North East.
The activities of dreaded sect, Boko Haram, has been curtailed in the region by the country’s security agencies.
The NNPC boss said this when he visited Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi, in Maiduguri.
Baru said: “We have been discussing with military authorities in the area and they have assured us of improved security.
“Once they give us the green light, we would resume operations in the area within six weeks.”
Baru, was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas & Power, Saidu Mohammed ,and he informed the governor that NNPC was keen on increasing its production from 1.9 million barrels per day to three million bpd as well as increasing its oil and gas reserves, a target that necessitated exploring for more oil within and across some of the nation’s inland basins.
He commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and Shettima for restoring peace, reconstructing and rehabilitating the region, adding that the Corporation was ready to provide support in that regard.
Baru appealed to the Shehu of Borno to prevail on his people to show oil exploration activities resumes.
Highlight of the visit was the presentation of relief materials by Baru to the Shehu for Internally Displaced Persons in the state.
Responding, Shettima said the insurgency had taken a huge toll on the North-East region leading to the loss of more than 9.6 billion dollars, with Borno state alone losing 5.6 billion dollars.
Shettima said: “We need your support in our reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts, so that when the history of the new Borno is written, NNPC’s name will be written in gold.”
He said while international donour agencies and good-spirited organisations like the NNPC were keen on helping the IDPs; the state’s ultimate target was to resettle the IDPs in their various communities.
Also speaking, the Shehu of Borno commended the NNPC for identifying with the Borno people and expressed happiness over the prevailing peace across the state and the entire North East.