By Sulaimon Salau
The Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) will begin drilling the first oil well in Obi/Keana Nasarawa State on March 21. The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd., Mallam Mele Kyari, who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Sule in Lafia, said that the company began exploration activities in the state in 2010.
He said: “We have seen a great potential for finding hydrocarbon in Nasarawa State and to confirm this, we are going to start drilling on March 21. We are very optimistic that it would be a successful exercise. It will not end there, once you find oil, you do further works to develop it not just for the benefit of the community around it, but for Nasarawa State and the country.”
Kyari pointed out that the exploration would not be limited to the current Obi/Keana location. “Once we test this prospect, it opens new roads and we have seen other great prospects across many parts of the state. This will herald history and bring value to all of us,” he added.
The NNPC boss thanked the government and people of Nasarawa State for their cooperation and support so far, and called for its sustenance. He said that the company would continue to do its best to bring immediate value to the host community and ultimately to the wider society when oil is found in commercial quantity.
Responding, Sule thanked the NNPC boss and his team for the visit as well as for what is being done in the state. He identified insecurity as a major challenge to oil exploration in the country, calling on the people of the state to ensure they maintain peace and support the company for the project to succeed. He expressed optimism that the drilling of the oil well, named “Ebenyi-A” would be the first in the North Central zone of the country, which would bring lots of benefits to the state.
“On behalf of our people, we want to say that you will find peace, we have been known for being peaceful, kind and loving. You will not have any reason to feel otherwise within the period of your operation in the state,” Sidi-Bage said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, NNPC Energy Services Limited, Sophia Mbakwe, said the assurances from the government and stakeholders in Nasarawa State were critical to the operation of the company.