By Emmanuella Anokam
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated the Kolmani Integrated Development Project at Kolmani River II Oil Field located at a border community between Bauchi and Gombe States.
Buhari expressed joy over the discovery of over one billion barrels of oil reserves and 500 billion Cubic Feet of Gas within the Kolmani area as well as the huge potentials for more deposits as exploration efforts had been intensified.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President accompanied by some governors and other cabinet members performed the official ground-breaking ceremony of the Oil Prospecting Lease (OPLs) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani River II Well.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, in October 2019, announced the discovery of crude oil, gas and condensate in the Kolmani River.
The oil field would be developed by Sterling Global Oil, New Nigeria Development Commission (NNDC) and the NNPC Limited.
The President said the discovery emanated from the charge to the NNPC to re-strategise and expand its oil and gas exploration footprints to the frontiers Benue Trough and Chad Basin including Anambra, Dahomey, Sokoto and Bida.
The President said similar activities across the other basins were currently actively on-going.
“Today is important in the economic history of our nation as we move closer to production of oil and gas in the Upper Benue Trough, specifically, the Kolmani River Oil and Gas Field, straddling Bauchi and Gombe States.
“This is indeed significant considering that, efforts to find commercial oil and gas outside the established Niger Delta Basin was attempted for many years without the desired outcomes.
“However, the successful discovery of the Kolmani Oil and Gas field by NNPC and her partners has finally broken the jinx record by the confirmation of a huge commercial deposits of hydrocarbons in Kolmani River field,” he said.
He said the discovery had attracted investment for an end-to-end integrated development and monetisation of the hydrocarbon resources.
Acoording to him, it is a fully integrated in-situ development project comprising upstream production, oil refining, power generation and fertiliser, adding the project promised many benefits for the nation.
He listed the benefits but not limited to Energy security, Financial Security, Food security as well as overall socio-economic development for the country.
He noted that considering the land locked location and the huge capital requirement, the economics of the project was a challenging proposition.
“Consequently, from the onset, I instructed NNPC Limited to utilise and leverage their vast asset portfolio across all corridors of its operations to de-risk the project to attract the much-needed investment.
“I have directed NNPC to continue along these lines.
“It is therefore to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able attract investment of over three billion dollars to the project.
“This will surely be a reference subject for favorable discussion in the industry as we pursue the just energy transition programme that will culminate in our country achieving Net-Zero position One by the year 2060,” he said.
Buhari said he had engaged governors of Bauchi and Gombe States, Bala Mohammed and Inuwa Yahaya who had expressed assurances of their unwavering commitment to ensure support and cooperation in these localities as this activity affects the local populations.
The President urged the NNPC Ltd, NNDC, and their Strategic partners to ensure all lessons learnt from our years of experience as an oil-producing nation are utilised to ensure harmonious relationship with the local communities.
NAN reports that the event was attended by APC Presidential Candidate, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC National Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Minister of Digital Economy, Dr Ali Isa Pantami, NNPC Group Chief Executive Officer, Malam Mele Kyari and other top government officials, among others. (NAN)