For the last 50 years, the drilling and prospecting of oil was only done in southern part of Nigeria. For some reason, the belief at that time was that crude oil was only domiciled in the southern part of Nigeria. This all changed in 2019 with the discovery of an estimated 1 billion barrels of oil reserves and 600 billion cubic feet of gas in the Kolmani area of Bauchi and Gombe. The Nigeria Nation Petroleum Company (NNPC) announced that it had encountered oil in ‘commercial quantities.
In the opening ceremony, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Mr Timipre Sylva stated that

“In 2019 when the NNPC announced that it had encountered oil in ‘commercial quantities’ at the Kolmani River Well II, the nation celebrated the news as a fitting outcome for years of geological investigations which were carried on with the tenacity and consistency that embody the pioneering spirit of the organisation. Despite the enormity of challenges that NNPC was confronted with. The day has come when we can collectively witness and celebrate drilling for hydrocarbons in the North of our dear country.”

“At the heart of this administration is the vision to drive infrastructure and industrial development of the country in order to prosper her citizens and make life more meaningful to all. This is the motivation that sustained the quest to reform the petroleum sector, which culminated in the passage and signing into Law by Mr. President of the landmark Petroleum Industry Act in 2021.”

“One of the key mandates of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is to grow reserves from the current 37B barrels of oil to 40B barrels of oil by 2025. The PIA 2021 provided the regulatory support and framework for achieving this mandate by providing for the Frontier Exploration Fund which the NNPC can utilise to deploy world class cutting-edge technologies to de-risk exploration in the frontier basins. The commencement of drilling of Kolmani fields which could hold as much as one billion barrels crude oil reserve, will significantly contribute in boosting our oil reserves and ensuring our continuous energy sufficiency.”

“The risks arising from our current challenges of energy poverty, lack of access to clean cooking fuel, insecurity and unemployment are pervasive across the country, but so is the value proposition to all stakeholders. The reward of getting it right is so huge that we have no option but to stay the course and see it through. This is why I welcome the collaboration between NNPC Limited and its partners in this campaign, and look forward to the expansion of these partnerships with respect to other basins which will give us a fighting chance to address the myriad of issues that confront us”.

“In closing, I want to specially thank Mr. President for all the support and guidance that he has provided that has led to the event of today. In supervising the drilling exercise, Mr. President has once more demonstrated his commitment to the uninhibited development of the petroleum industry, and leaving it better and more prosperous than he found it. Indeed, it will go down in the annals of history, that it was during his tenure both as President and Minister of Petroleum Resources that the hydrocarbons map of Nigeria was redrawn to include a region which was once the subject of speculative optimism, crystallising instead into definitive prospectivity.”