By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration has attracted over US$3 billion investment in the Oil and Gas Sector at a time of near-zero appetite for investment in fossil energy.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in a statement, said Buhari stated this at the inauguration of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project on Tuesday in Bauchi.
The company is a fully integrated in-situ development project comprising upstream production, oil refining, power generation and fertilizer.
Buhari said: ”Considering the land locked location and the huge capital requirement, the economics of the project is a challenging proposition.
”Consequently, from the outset, I instructed NNPC Limited to utilize and leverage their vast asset portfolio across all corridors of its operations to de-risk the project to attract the much-needed investment.
“It is therefore to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able to attract investment of over US$ 3 billion to this project.”
He, therefore, commended NNPCL and its partners for the successful discovery of Oil and Gas in the Kolmani River Field.
The president stated that the huge investment the project had attracted “will surely be a reference subject for discussion in the industry as we pursue the just energy transition programme that will culminate in our country achieving Net- Zero position by the year 2060.”
According to him, the huge benefits the project brings to the country including, but not limited to, Energy Security, Financial Security as well as overall socio-economic development of the country.
President Buhari affirmed that his administration’s charge to NNPCL to explore other Oil and Gas fields beyond the Niger Delta Basins had finally yielded commendable results.
“This is indeed significant considering that, efforts to find commercial oil and gas outside the established Niger Delta Basin was attempted for many years without the desired outcomes.
“However, the successful discovery of the Kolmani Oil and Gas field by NNPC and its hpartners has finally broken the jinx by the confirmation of huge commercial deposits of hydrocarbons in Kolmani River field.
“This discovery had emanated from our charge to the NNPC to re-strategize and expand its oil and gas exploration footprints to the frontier basins of Anambra, Dahomey, Sokoto, Benue trough, Chad and Bida Basins.”
According to the president, similar activities across the other basins are currently actively on-going.
He said: “We are pleased with the current discovery of over 1 billion barrels of oil reserves and 500 billion Cubic Feet of Gas within the Kolmani area and the huge potentials for more deposits as we intensify exploration efforts.”
While looking forward to the successful delivery of the Project which he called “another vital pillar in the Country’s economic architecture,” Buhari urged NNPCL and partners to work with all stakeholders for a smooth execution of the project.
“I have engaged the Governors of Bauchi and Gombe States, and both have given me assurances of their unwavering commitment and willingness to ensure support and cooperation in these localities as this activity affects the local populations.
“I urge the NNPC Ltd, NNDC, and their Strategic partners to ensure all lessons learnt from our years of experience as an oil-producing nation are utilized to ensure harmonious relationship with the local communities,” he added.
In his remarks, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who recalled his relationship with the project, expressed his delight to be associated with the project as Minister, having worked with a former Minister of Petroleum Resources when NNDC won the oil prospect lease being flagged off on Tuesday.
Also speaking at the event, the Group CEO NNPCL, Mele Kolo Kyari, noted that the search for oil and gas in the frontier basins of Chad, Sokoto, Anambra Platform, Calabar Embarkment, Benue Trough, Dahomey, Bida and the Ultra Deepwater Niger Delta had spanned decades without significant outcomes.
He, however, commended the singular determination of President Buhari to ensure optimum exploration and exploitation of the nation natural resources, saying this resulted in the discovery of commercial oil and gas deposits in the Kolmani Prospect in April 2019.
”Your Excellency’s consequential directives for NNPC Limited to strategize and utilize available human, technological and other material resources to prosecute exploration activities in all Frontier Basins resulted in the discovery of commercial oil and gas deposits in the Kolmani Prospect in April 2019,” Kyari added.
There were also goodwill messages from the Governors of Bauchi and Gombe States, Bala Mohammed and Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya respectively, and Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as well as the APC Presidential Flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, also delivered goodwill messages at the event.