Act 1: In July 2016, shortly after Maikanti Baru was appointed as Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC), he received the governor of Bauchi state, Mohammed Abubakar, in his office at the NNPC Towers in Abuja. Baru told Abubakar that the NNPC has been ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari to fast-track oil exploration in the North, specifically in the Chad Basin and Kolmani River.
Act 2: In August 2016, when a Benue State Government delegation visited Baru, he said that the NNPC had received an express order from the president to explore for oil in the North, specifically in the Benue Trough.
Act 3: The governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal, visited the NNPC GMD today in Abuja at the NNPC Towers. Baru told him that the NNPC has kicked off the process that will lead to exploration of oil and gas in the Sokoto Basin.
According to Baru, the NNPC has:
- Purchased aeromagnetic data which is being interpreted to determine the sedimentary thickness and the basin configuration;
- Awarded a contract for the geological mapping of the basin;
- Started discussions with Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) to award contract for surface geochemistry, ground gravity and magnetics, in order to determine if hydrocarbon was generated in the basins and to integrate all data for understanding of petroleum systems of the basins; and
- Made plans to carry out high resolution regional 2D seismic data acquisition to identify leads and prospects, after which a 3D seismic data acquisition will be carried out.
“After all these are carried out, we will then begin to drill for oil and gas in the basin,” Baru said.