After several years of failed seismic survey in the Lake Chad Basin, in Borno state, north eastern Nigeria, under the siege of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West Africa, ISWAP, which was said to have gulped over N194 billion .the region can now heave a sigh of relief of being counted as one of the oil producing in the country.
This is because hydrocarbon has been discovered in Commercial quantities by NNPC and its partners in Kolmani river,located between Gombe and Bauchi states within the region. President Muhammadu Buhari, who could not hide his feelings that the black gold has been discovered in the north and no more the exclusive preserve of the Niger Delta had flagged off the Kolmani Integrated Development Project,on Tuesday, November 22, 20222, in the region .
The Kolamani oil fields exploration was said to have been flagged off by the Nigerian President on August, 10,2019, barely three months into his second term in office, of the reservoirs in the Kolmani river as well as perforated hydrocarbon gushing into the oil well ahead.
An elated Katsina state born Nigerian President, who was said to have put smiles in the faces of the people of Gombe and Bauchi states, particular, and the north in general, with the inauguration of the much publicisd Kolmani Integrated Development Project, which was said to have so far attracted over a $3 billion worth of investment.
He is optimistic, that that the project would be a huge success and not another Lake Chad experience. Beaming with smiles the prominent northerners and top government functionaries from the region , both at the state and Federal level, who had turned up to witness the inauguration of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project, felt that Buhari had done what no former Nigerian Leader from the region had over the years.
Going by the operational reports presented by NNPC, the country is expected to tap one billion barrels of Crude oil from the first reservoir of the Kolmani oil fields site, Oil Prospecting Licence, OPLs 809 and 810. The Nigerian oil octopus had said that the county will also recover an additional 500 billion standard Cubic Feet of gas from the first reservoir with prospects for higher volume of gas in the future.
The Profile provided by Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director, NNPC, on the OPLs 809 and 810, production sharing contract , PSC, , in which NNPCL, is, the Concessionaire of the oil blocks while the NNPC Exploration and Production, and the Nigerian Development Company, NDC, are the contractor parties.
There are indications that these contracting partners , at present , have a strategic partnership with Africa Oilfield Movers Ltd, , AOML, Consortium to provide funding and Chemical capabilities for the Kolmani Integrated oil and gas development project. The company, according to informed sources is to be compensated from the contractor’s profit of oil after commencement of operations.
Giving the discovery of oil in Commercial quantities in the Kolmani river in the north eastern geopolitical region may have informed why Kyari, the NNPC, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, had said that that the first phase of the Kolmani river oil and gas development project will entail an in-situ oil refinery of up to 120,000b/d capacity, and Gas processing plant of up to 500 million standard cubic feet, a power plant of up to 300 mgawatts, MW, and a fertilizer plant of 2,500 tons per day.
Atop government official in Gombe state , had told The Value News that Kolmani river- I, OPL 809, was drilled by SPDC , and Nasara-I, on OPL 810, drilled by Chevron Nigerian, unlimited, as part of their minimum work programme obligation.
Inuwa Yahaya, governor of Gombe state happiness, is that the state and its neighboring neighbouring Bauchi, have become part of the oil producing states, and will now benefit from the 13% oil derivation funds approved for the eight Niger Delta states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross river, Delta, Edo, Ondo, and Rivers in the PIB Act and other Development projects meant for the oil producing states.
Perhaps, to avoid a repeat of the environmental devastation of the Niger Delta region caused by oil exploration and production since 1958, when oil was first discovered in Commercial quantities in Oloibiri, in the present day Bayelsa state, and now, the Gombe governor who could no hide his feelings had said that ‘’the state of ministry of Environment and NNPC, are working closely together to mitigate the misstates and pitfalls that have been the major challenge of oil explorations and implementation in the region’’.
The governor was emphatic: We have learnt our lessons with the developments and what has been happening around the Niger Delta and other oil producing areas of the world, particular, the Middle East, noting that ‘’the two north eastern states that share the Kolmani Integrated oil and gas development project will not follow the Niger Delta track.
In spite of the fact that NNPC, has not started proper drilling of oil in the Kolmani river, let alone export produced Crude oil , Yahaya, the Gombe Governor, had said that the state government will be working with some Consultants, both within and outside the state, that will be guiding it as to what the sate needed to do at every point in time to remain in the oil producing states bracket, particular, ‘’ providing the required professional skill, workmanship and labour that is needed in order to be useful in the oil explorations and exploitations business’’.
Gov. Yahaya,may have gladdened the heart of the people of the state when he said that ‘’there will job and business opportunities for the people of Gombe’’. He did not stop there. He had said that the government has developed a window to discuss with the people, stressing that the government is ready ‘‘to engage the local business community so that the value chain, will be fully exploited’’.
Appealing to those who are interested in taking advantage of the oil exploration and exploitation in the state to identify where to fix their businesses and where to invest, he had said that ‘’it is the only way to further boost the economic activity of the state for the people to fully enjoy the oil exploration activities’’ .