NNPC Discovers Hydrocarbon Deposits in Gongola Basin-Upper Benue Trough
After decades of searching that had cost hundreds of millions of dollars, a huge sign of relief was felt across the country with the announcement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it had discovered hydrocarbon deposits in the Gongola Basin-Upper Benue trough in northern Nigeria.
The search for oil in the area had become more intense since the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, who had spared no expense to see that this happened. The presence of crude oil in the oil rich South has been a very sore point in the management of the country with the South, especially people from the Niger Delta claiming neglect despite producing the resource from which the country generates most of its revenues. It has also been felt that continuous push by northern elite and politicians to control political levers of the state had always been driven by a desire to be at the driving seat of decision making as far as the oil wealth was concerned.
Analysts say many in the south, especially in the Niger Delta would be heaving a sigh of relief that the discovery of oil in the north would take northern politicians’ attention from the south and its oil, as they now have their own. They also believe that agitation for resource control would begin to make sense to northern elite who had sat on southern oil for decades while the country suffered total lack of development, despite the oil wealth.
NNPC said the discovery was made in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, in the North-Eastern part of the country.
It said that drilling of the Kolmani River II Well was flagged-off by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 2nd of February, 2019.
Samson Makoji, acting group general manager, group public affairs division, who issued the statement said NNPC acquired 435.54km2 of 3D Seismic Data over Kolmani Prospect in the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, adding that this was to evaluate Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) Kolmani River 1 Well Discovery of 33 BCF and explore deeper levels.
“The well was drilled with “IKENGA RIG 101” to a total depth of 13,701feet encountering oil and gas in several levels. A Drill Stem Test (DST) is currently on-going to confirm the commercial viability and flow of the Kolmani River reservoirs.
“On Thursday 10th October, 2019, at 18:02hours, one of the reservoirs was perforated and hydrocarbon started flowing to the well head at 21:20hours in which the gas component was flared to prevent air charge around the Rig.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the discovery consists of gas, condensate and light sweet oil of API gravity ranging from 38 to 41 found in stacked siliciclastic cretaceous reservoirs of Yolde, Bima Sandstone and Pre-Bima formations.
“Computation of hydrocarbon volume is on-going and will be announced in due course,” the NNPC explained.
It said it has also acquired additional 1183km2 of 3D seismic data over highly prospective areas of Gongola Basin with a view to evaluating the full hydrocarbon potential of the Basin, adding that it has deployed world class cutting-edge technologies including Surface Geochemistry, Ground Gravity/Magnetic, Stress Field Detection, Full Tensor Gradiometry aerial surveys to de-risk exploration in the frontier basins.
NNPC plans to drill additional wells for full evaluation of the hydrocarbon volume in the Gongola Basin, the corporation explained.
During the spud-in ceremony of Kolmani River II, President Buhari had stated the commitment of his administration to the exploration for Oil and Gas in the frontier basins in the entire length and breadth of the country. The basins include: the Benue Trough, Chad Basin, Sokoto and Bida Basins. He had also stated that attention would be given to the Dahomey and Anambra Basins which have already witnessed oil and gas discoveries.