President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched the first oil drilling of the Ebenyi-A Exploration Well in Nasarawa State’s Obi Local Government Area’s Middle Benue Trough.
In his virtual spud-in ceremony for the Well, Buhari urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., NNPCL, and its partners to consider the environmental consequences of oil exploration activities and to reduce the negative effects.
On behalf of Buhari, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State and Group CEO of NNPCL, Malam Mele Kyari, among others, performed the spud-in ceremony.
Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) retired Justice Bage Muhammad, Emir of Lafia, and some royal fathers were also present.
Buhari stated that the fresh oil discovery was in keeping with existing initiatives for crude oil and gas exploration in the country’s Border Basins.
He said the Chad Basin, the Dahomey Basin, the Anambra Platform, the Calabar Embankment, the Sokoto Basin, the Bida Basin, the Benue Trough, and 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,” he said. “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.”
The president congratulated the NNPCL, NUPRC, and other partners for their significant efforts to make the exploration possible.
He expressed satisfaction with the favorable outcomes of the drilling efforts, which he said will lead to increased wealth for Nigerians and, in particular, improve the country’s overall energy security.
Buhari went on to say that the value created by the exploration and eventual production activities would benefit the surrounding community the most.
He also thanked the government and the people of Nasarawa, particularly the host community, for their unwavering support and collaboration in ensuring the success of the exploration mission.