Oil Exploration Stepped Up in Nigeria’s Inland Basins-Minister



diezaninewBy Danlami Nmodu

Minister of Petroleum Resources ,Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke has announced that oil exploration  has been stepped uo in Nigeria’s  inland basins .She made this revelation in her 2013 midterm  ministerial press briefing .
According to the minister “Nigeria has nine (9) basins of which the most prospective is the Niger Delta. Others such as Anambra and Chad basins are also known to be rich in hydrocarbon. Presently, exploration has been stepped-up in the entire Inland Basins of Chad, Anambra, Benue, and Bida/Sokoto/Dahomey.
“This increased exploration activity is reflected in the following: Acquisition of a total of 6,102 Sq.km of seismic data including 818 Sq.Km acquired for FES operations in the Chad Basin in Phases 3, 4 and 5 combined.
“Acquisition of 266 Sq.Km of seismic data in the Phase 6 is ongoing by IDSL (a subsidiary of NNPC) in the Chad Basin even at the height of the security challenges.
“We have also grown IDSL Land Acquisition capacity by additional three (3) 100% wholly owned seismic party crews.
Speaking on Seismic Data Processing, she revealed that “A total of 24,680 Sq.Km of seismic data was processed / reprocessed in readiness for seismic interpretation. In addition IDSL Data Processing Centre (DPC) has been upgraded to the largest Seismic Data Processing Centre in the West African Sub-region with a processing capability of 20,000Sq.Km. from 2,000Sq.Km.”
She also explained why power supply has taken a downward turn in the country. “Despite the significant progress in supply growth to power, we suffered setbacks lately which have impacted negatively on gas supply to power”the minister said, adding that “3 significant events resulted in loss of 1300MW. The events include the vandalization of the ELPS A gas pipeline at Gbaramatu on the 22nd of June, the vandalization of the Trans Niger Pipeline in the East on 16th July, which resulted in the eventual shut down of gas supply to Afam power plants and finally, reservoir challenges in the Oben gas plant, resulting in restriction of supply to Sapele power plant. These events resulted in outage of 400MW, 750MW and 150MW respectively. NGC has commenced repairs on the blown pipeline and expect to complete this by the end of September. Shell just announced yesterday, that it has completed repairs of the Trans-Niger pipeline. Consequently, the Afam power plants are expected to resume operation within 48 – 72hrs restoring about 750MW of lost power. SEPLAT, the operator of the Oben gas plant is working on repairs of the plant and expect to reopen within 3-4 weeks.”
She said however that “It is important to also note that in the period under review, gas to non-power sector almost doubled from 185mmcf/d to 357mmcf/d, providing feedstock that has supported the recent aggressive growth in the nation’s cement sector as well as other manufacturing companies. To date over 200 manufacturing industries now run on natural gas and the number continues to grow daily as NGC builds more pipeline infrastructure.
“Underpinning the supply growth were successful efforts in infrastructure expansion, more acceptable commercial environment and the Gas Supply Emergency. Specifically on infrastructure, over 300km of new gas pipelines were completed and commissioned. These include the 190km Oben-Geregu line, the 120km Escravos-Oben line, the 25km Itoki-Olorunshogo line and the Imo River-Alaoji pipeline. In addition, 340km pipeline segment from Oben-Lagos is ongoing and due to complete within 6 months. This infrastructure expansion is the most aggressive in 40years. By the end of 2013, the nation’s gas backbone, the Escravos-Lagos pipeline, would have doubled its capacity to 2.2 billion cubic feet per day, creating one of the largest capacity gas pipelines in Africa and creating a major supply artery for a majority of the nation’s power plants. Specifically, as a result of the infrastructure expansion, all completed Power Plants such as Geregu, Olorunshogo, Omotosho, Ihovbor and Alaoji now have permanent and adequate gas supply pipeline connection.


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