The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru says oil exploration activities in the Chad Basin will resume in six weeks time.
Baru made this known in a statement issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu.
Baru said the resumption of oil exploration activities became necessary following improved security in the North East.
The NNPC boss said this when he visited Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno State and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi in Maiduguri.
“We have been discussing with military authorities in the area and they have assured us of improved security.
“Once they give us the green light, we would resume operations in the area within six weeks,” Baru, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas & Power, Mr. Saidu Mohammed, said.
Baru informed the governor that NNPC was keen on increasing its production from 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to three million bpd as well as increasing its oil and gas reserves, a target that necessitated exploring for more oil within and across some of the nation’s inland basins.
He commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and Shettima for restoring peace, reconstructing and rehabilitating the region, adding that the Corporation was ready to provide support in that regard.
Baru appealed to the Shehu of Borno to prevail on his people to show oil exploration activities resumes.
Highlight of the visit was the presentation of relief materials by Baru to the Shehu for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.
Responding, Shettima said the insurgency had taken a huge toll on the North-East region leading to the loss of more than 9.6 billion dollars, with Borno state alone losing 5.6 billion dollars.
“We need your support in our reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts, so that when the history of the new Borno is written, NNPC’s name will be written in gold,” he said.
Shettima said while international donour agencies and good-spirited organisations like the NNPC were keen on helping the IDPs, the state’s ultimate target was to resettle the IDPs in their various communities.
Also speaking, the Shehu of Borno commended the NNPC for identifying with the Borno people and expressed happiness over the prevailing peace across the state and the entire North East.