President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, inaugurated the first oil drilling of the Ebenyi-A Exploration Well located in the Middle Benue Trough in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Buhari, in his virtual spud-in ceremony of the Well, admonished the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) and its partners to take due care of the environmental consequences of the oil exploration activities and to mitigate the negative effects.
Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, and Group CEO, NNPCL, Malam Mele Kyari, among others, performed the spud-in ceremony on behalf of Buhari.
Other dignitaries in attendance were Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), retired Justice Bage Muhammad, Emir of Lafia and some royal fathers, among others.
Buhari said the new oil discovery was in line with the ongoing campaigns for the exploration of crude oil and gas in the nation’s Frontier Basins.
This, he said, included the Chad Basin, Dahomey Basin, Anambra Platform, the Calabar Embankment, Sokoto Basin, Bida Basin, Benue Trough as well as the Ultra-Deepwater Niger Delta.
“Today’s occasion marks the official commencement of exploration drilling activities in the Middle Benue Trough.
“This is consistent with the commercial discoveries of hydrocarbons in the Kolmani Area of the Upper Benue Trough.
“I am pleased to note that activities are currently ongoing to develop the Kolmani petroleum discoveries to commercial production to add to the nation’s considerable hydro-carbon assets.
“I am encouraged by the enormous work done by NNPC Limited to exploit the prospects in the Middle Benue Trough, leading to the event of today,” he said.
The president congratulated the NNPCL, the NUPRC and other partners for their immense contributions toward making the exploration possible.
He expressed pleasure with the consequent positive outcomes of the drilling campaigns which he said would lead to greater prosperity for Nigerians and especially enhance overall energy security for the country.
Buhari further said that the surrounding communities would particularly benefit from the value that would be created by the exploration and the eventual production activities.
He expressed gratitude also to the government and people of Nasarawa, especially the host community for their unfettered support and collaboration toward the success of the exploration campaign.
By Ella Anokam