OIL: NNPCL Begins Drilling 1st Well In Nasarawa State, Mar 21

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The Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCl) will begin drilling of the first oil well in Obi/Keana, Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, on March 21, 2023, according to the NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Mele Kyari.

The NNPCL boss made the disclosure when he led the Management on a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Thursday in Lafia, the state capital.

Kyari explained that the company began exploration activities in the Nasarawa State in 2010 and has technically found petroleum environment in the state.

“We have seen a great potential for finding hydrocarbon in Nasarawa State and to confirm this, we are going to start drilling on March 21.

“We are very optimistic that it would be a successful exercise. It will not end there, once you find oil, you do further works to develop it not just for the benefit of the community around it but for Nasarawa State and the country,” Kyari said.

He noted that the exploration would not be limited to the current Obi/Keana location, adding: “Once we test this prospect, it opens new roads and we have seen other great prospects across many parts of the state. This will herald history and bring value to all of us.”

Thanking the Nasarawa State Government and the citizenry for the cooperation and support so far, the NNPCL boss called for its sustenance.

“Peace and cooperation are essential in oil exploration, and we have seen enormous cooperation in this respect – we have seen no danger, no risk to our operation from all stakeholders in our area of operation and we thank them for that,” Kyari said.

The NNPCL, according to him, would continue to do its best to bring immediate value to the host community and ultimately to the wider society when oil was found in commercial quantity.

Responding, the Governor thanked the NNPCL boss and his team for the visit and for what they were doing in the state.

He also appreciated the people in the area for their support so far, while urging them to sustain the peace in the area and across the state.

Sule identified insecurity as a major challenge to oil exploration in the country, calling on the people of the state to ensure they maintain peace and support the company for the project to succeed.

He expressed optimism that the drilling of the oil well, named “Ebenyi-A” would be the first in the North Central geopolitical zone of the country and would bring lots of benefits to Nasarawa State.

In his remarks, Emir of Lafia, Retired Justice Muhammad Sidi-Bage, reassured the NNPCL on behalf of the people of utmost support towards the success of the project.

“On behalf of our people, we want to say that you will find peace, we have been known for being peaceful, kind and loving. You will not have any reason to feel otherwise within the period of your operation in the state,” Sidi-Bage said.

Also speaking, the Managing Director, NNPC Energy Services Limited, Sophia Mbakwe, said that the assurances from the government and stakeholders in Nasarawa State was critical to the operation of the company.

“For the right to operate, we need the cooperation, support and blessing of the Governor and the community, and that we have gotten today.

“The intent is that it’s going to benefit both parties and we want to go there to ensure no harm to people, no harm to the environment and be able to commence drilling as planned on March 21,” she said.

The company’s Executive Director, Frontier Exploration Services of the company, Mr. Muktar Zanna had led a team of other Executive Directors on courtesy visits to various traditional rulers in the area with hydrocarbon prospects in the state to get their support.

Some of the traditional rulers visited included Osuko of Obi, Alhaji Aliyu Dangiwa-Orume; Osana of Keana, Alhaji Abdullahi Agbo; Osoho of Olosoho (Agwatashi), Alhaji Umar Apeshi, as well as the Emir of Lafia, Retired Justice Muhammad Sidi-Bage.

All the traditional rulers gave assurances of the peoples’ commitment to peace towards the operations of the company in the state.

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