FG halts Kolmani oil drilling 16 months after inauguration

The Federal Government has put a stop to crude oil exploration activities at the Kolmani Oil Field, a mere 16 months after its commencement.

Residents allege that exploration equipment has been relocated to Lake Chad and Nasarawa.

Recall that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), in collaboration with the New Nigeria Development Company, initiated drilling at two oil blocks, OPL809 and OPL810, in November 2022.

Similarly, the projection of crude oil deposits in Kolamani, which traversed both Bauchi and Gombe States, was pegged at about one billion barrels of crude oil deposit and about 500bcf.

The Kolmani oil blocks were projected to generate about 50,000 barrels of crude oil every day.

Initially projected to last until 2060, the exploration aimed to tap into an estimated one billion barrels of crude oil and 500 cubic feet barrels (bcf) of gas.

However, despite expectations of generating 50,000 barrels of crude oil daily, only two out of five wells were developed, with equipment relocation causing disruptions, including the collapse of a bridge.

A resident of the Kolmani area, who spoke to newsmen on condition of anonymity, said that drilling on the site was suspended since the presidential inauguration and nothing tangible has been done.

Efforts to reach NNPCL and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources for comment were unsuccessful, while the Bauchi State Government emphasised its support for the project, citing enhanced security measures and initiatives like the establishment of an Oil and Gas Academy and Free Trade Zone.

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