The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that the Federal Government is making efforts towards increasing the petroleum reserve in the country to 40 million barrels from the current 36 million by 2030.
He said this in his opening remark in a 2-day workshop which was organized by the Energy Commission of Nigeria, through the National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development located at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
It was held at Chartwell Hotel, Bauchi on Monday with the theme: ‘Petroleum Exploration and Environmental Control in the Nigerian Context: Implications for Sustainable Petroleum Exploration in Nigeria’.
Onu, the Chairman of the occasion, who spoke via zoom through the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. Eli Bala, said that increasing Nigeria’s reserve would be done through the diversification of the petroleum source from the Niger Delta basin to include the frontier basins of Anambra, Benue, Bida, Chad among others.
He said, “We are all aware of the desire of the Federal Government to grow our petroleum reserve to about 40 billion barrels by 2030; and the need to diversify the source from the prolific Niger Delta basin to include the Frontier Basins of Anambra, Benue, Bida, Chad, onshore Dohomey and Sokoto. We are aware of exploration successes in the Anambra and Dahomey basins but, until recently, none in the Northern Basins.
“Research and development is the only instrument that will diversify, grow and sustain our economic development in this country. It is in this light that the government, through my Ministry, supports the Energy Commission of Nigeria to increase our national energy reliance through sustainable research and development activities.
“I am pleased to acknowledge that within the last decade of its research activities in the Benue Trough, the National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development located in ATBU, Bauchi has developed tectonostratigraphic and petroleum system models for the Gongola sub-basin of the Northern Benue Trough and the entire Benue Trough of Nigeria, which suggested the expected structural types/styles capable of trapping hydrocarbon in the Basin(s).”
According to him, the several successes recorded, including the nature of discovered oil in the Northern Benue Trough, agrees with the exploration model developed by the Centre.
He added that Research and Development contributions in the oil diversification direction by ATBU, Bauchi will point towards the realization of the objectives of the President Muhammadu Buhari, to increase Nigeria’s hydrocarbon reserve and consolidate the national economy.