Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will attend a ceremony tomorrow marking the first oil development in northern Nigeria, at the Kolmani River field.
The president arrived in Bauchi State today ahead of the ceremony at OPL 809 and 810. Presidential representative Buhari Sallau noted that this was the first such development in the region, where Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) discovered oil two years ago.
Nigeria is in the midst of a presidential campaign. Buhari has served two terms and is supporting presidential nominee Bola Tinubu.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva and NNPC head Mele Kyari will also be attending.
This Day reported an anonymous NNPC source as saying Sterling Global Oil, New Nigeria Development Commission (NNDC) and NNPC would develop the fields. The NNDC is a conglomerate owned by the 19 northern Nigerian states.
NNPC has not provided official confirmation of the size of the resource or details from the drilling. However, Sylva, speaking in 2020, put the Kolmani River discovery at around 1 billion barrels.
NNPC subsidiary Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. (NPDC) issued a request for expressions of interest (EoI) in March 2021 on the licences. NNPC said it had discovered “huge commercial quantities” of hydrocarbons in the Kolmani River region, of the Gongola Basin.
NPDC’s EoI request covered an onsite refinery and power plant.
One of the major steps taken by Buhari in the energy sector was the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). Under this, NNPC committed to spending 30% of its profits from oil and gas on exploring frontier basins, largely taken to be Nigeria’s northern areas.
NNPC has consistently failed to record a profit this year. The company must cover the costs between importing fuel and domestic sales.