Ogun State Poised for Major Oil Exploration as NNPC Commences Operations

By Jemimah Wellington, JKNMedia Reporter

SET TO join the ranks of oil-producing states in Nigeria is Ogun State as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) prepares to initiate oil and gas exploration in the region.

Described as a significant development, it was marked by the visit of key stakeholders in the oil industry to Ogun State, signaling the Federal Government’s commitment to expanding its oil exploration activities.

On Friday, top officials including the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd, Osagie Okubor, Chief Executive of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, and NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, converged in Ogun State.

They were warmly received by Governor Dapo Abiodun and his Deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, to discuss the impending exploration activities.

Minister Lokpobiri emphasized Ogun State’s strategic position within the Dahomey Basin, highlighting its substantial hydrocarbon potential.

“We are here to reassure the people of Ogun State of the high potential for significant hydrocarbon discoveries,” Lokpobiri stated and stressed the FG’s seriousness about commencing exploration in Ogun State, which has always been a part of the Dahomey Basin.

Lokpobiri underscored the importance of oil and gas in driving Nigeria’s economic prosperity, reiterating the FG’s dedication to sustaining exploration efforts.

“Our visit demonstrates our commitment to enhancing revenue through the oil and gas sector,” he added, mentioning that similar exploration campaigns are ongoing nationwide, with plans to move to Sokoto State next.

NNPCL Group Managing Director Mele Kyari expressed optimism about discovering oil in commercial quantities in Ogun State and noted that the state’s location within the Dahomey Basin corridor is promising, and the corporation is eager to commence exploration activities earnestly.

Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Executive Director of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, reinforced the FG’s dedication to increasing oil reserves and boosting national revenue.

“Nigeria’s prolific oil and gas potential necessitates continuous exploration to grow our reserves,” Komolafe remarked, highlighting that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) provides for funding the development of Frontier Basins, and the Commission is collaborating with NNPCL to leverage this for aggressive exploration in the Dahomey Basin.

Komolafe explained that the Dahomey Basin extends across Delta, Edo, Ogun, and Ondo states, and the exploration efforts will cover these regions under the provisions of the PIA, congratulating the governor and the people of Ogun State for being beneficiaries of this initiative, which aligns with the state’s ongoing reforms and transformation projects.

Abiodun acknowledged Ogun State’s inclusion in the Oil Prospecting Licenses (OPLs) 302, 303, 306, and 307, highlighting the unique opportunities these acreages present for qualifying as a Frontier Exploration State under the PIA.

He pointed out that historical studies support the potential for successful oil and gas exploration in the state, which could also facilitate bitumen exploration and exploitation, given Nigeria’s substantial bitumen reserves.

Abiodun emphasized that his state offers favourable conditions for exploration, including ease of access, low operating costs, and a supportive community and government.

“This region presents unique opportunities for realizing the objectives of the PIA on frontier exploration, potentially increasing petroleum production and supply to refineries,” he said, also noting the prospects for bitumen extraction, which would reduce import dependency and save foreign exchange.

He also ascertained that with the FG’s backing and the strategic initiatives underway, Ogun State is poised to become a significant player in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, promising economic growth and development for the region.

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