By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
The hope of finding deposits of crude oil in commercial quantity in some states of the Northern part of the country has not been lost, as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it may soon commence exploration in places like Sokoto, Bida, Yola etc.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu made the disclosure yesterday during an interview with journalists after the 2014 budget defence of the corporation before the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream).
According to him, there are seven other basins apart from the Chad that NNPC is currently carrying out oil exploration for deposit of crude oil in commercial quantities, part of which are, Sokoto, Yola, Bida and Dahomey basins.
He said that the data for exploration exercise on the identified basins had been acquired even as he noted that out of the scheduled 13 phases of the Chad basin, exploration exercise has reached the sixth phase.
His words: “There are seven other basins apart from the Chad that we are exploring. What we did last year was to acquire the aero magnetic data from the geometric survey department. We have Yola, Bida, Sokoto, Dahomey and others.
“The main focus now which was a result of an extensive geological study that was done a couple of years ago is on the Chad basin. The data for the other basins had been acquired and as soon as we progress with the Chad basins, we shall start work on them but presently out of 13 phases of the Chad Basin, we are now in phase six”
On fuel scarcity currently facing the country, the NNPC boss said the scarcity would end before the end of the week, saying, increased supply of fuel was being made to virtually major filling stations across the country.
He said: “We have a full team right now in Lagos, last week, the team was in Abuja. We went round the clock to clean it up to get strategic reserved released, to the stations and we are able to reduce the fuel queues. We shifted to Lagos at the weekend but we have injected quite a lot into the Lagos market. All the marketers, the DPR, the PPRA, NNPC, and the PPMC have a very strong team out there to ensure that the deliveries are made,
“We have some vessels that had not been offloaded into the tank farms in Lagos and a lot of supplies have gone into most filling stations. In the last couple of days, we have close to 1000 trucks that had been loaded out of the various depots and jetties in Lagos and the entire fuel are being supplied to the various stations in Lagos and beyond.
“As at the close of business on Tuesday, most filling stations in Victoria Island and Ikoyi were dispensing fuel and we expect that other parts of Lagos will be impacted by the increase in the fuel supply strategy that the combined team has been doing. Hopefully by the end of work today (Wednesday) we would begin to see a change in the fuel scarcity situation in Lagos”