A senior executive of the Nigerian state-owned oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said his company is on the verge of resuming oil exploration in the restive northeastern state of Borno. The company beleives the level of security has improved to justify a return to Borno, but there has been evidence that this part of Nigeria remains a major risk due to the active presence of Boko Haram. Alhaji Maikanti Baru, the Managing Director of NNPC, Alhaji Maikanti Baru says exploration in Lake Chad will begin over the next six months as a result of “military assurance of adequate security, relative peace and the degrading of Boko Haram sect in the North East sub-region.”  NNPC has already been working with Borno’s governor Kashim Shettima.  NNPC’s next step is to redeploy a team to Maiduguri to assess the technical conditions of a resumption of oil exploration on the Nigeria side of  the Lake Chad Basin. Governor Shettima said his administration will partner with NNPC to deliver on its mission

NNPC focus on northeast Nigeria comes as a result of the positive outcome from the company’s exploration activities with 21 of the 23 wells mostly drilled on the Chad side of Lake Chad showing good reserves.  Its exploration activity in the region required $340 million investment, and more money is expected to be pumped in more exploration as a result of a push by President Buhari to raise the country’s oil reserves.

A few months ago, NNPC said “discoveries made in neighboring countries in basins with similar structural settings are: Doba, Doseo and Bongor all in Chad amounts to over 2 Billion barrels (Bbbls); Logone Birni in Southern Chad and Northern Cameroon, over 100 Bbbls; and Termit-Agadem Basin in Niger totals over 1Bbbls. “Already the NNPC New Frontier Exploration Services Division which is leading the charge for crude oil find in the entire Inland Basins is acquiring 3,550 sq km of 3- D seismic data for processing and interpretation in addition to the already acquired 6000km of 2-D data that is currently being reprocessed.”