Barely a month after the federal government unveiled Kolmani River 2 oil well between Gombe and Bauchi states, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has accelerated processes for more frontier exploration across Niger, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Borno, Yobe, Anambra, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe states.
This is according to a Daily Trust analysis of a report obtained from NNPC Ltd on its frontier exploration services activities from 2020 to 2022.
In NNPC’s Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) report for August 2022, being the last it has published, the company would have spent N79.4 billion on Frontier Exploration Service (FES) by this year end. While it spent N50.4bn the previous year, it was billed to spend N29.4bn in 2022 and had spent N14.3bn from this amount as at August 2022, left with N15.1bn since then.
NNPC drills 6 oil wells
The stage that holds the highest prospect of oil find is the drilling of prospective well sites. According to the document, NNPC has reached the drilling stage for six sites in the frontier basins. The company drilled Kolmani River 3, which it started in April 2020 and completed in November 2020 after drilling 13,000 feet. It is just around where it found about one billion barrels of oil at the Kolmani River 2 well reservoir; there is also 500 billion standard cubic feet of gas in this well. NNPC also drilled Kolmani River 4 well from July 2021 to September 2021. The oil exploration could reach 19bn barrels of crude with the discovery of more reservoirs around the Kolmani River in the Gongola Basin.
NNPC is in the process of finalising the move to begin drilling at the Chad Basin and three other sites.
Acquires, processes seismic data for more sites
Before reaching the drilling stage, NNPC Ltd had to acquire 2D and 3D seismic data, which it processed and then interpreted. Starting with the data acquisition stage, the firm said it has completed 700LKm 2D Seismic Data Acquisition in Sokoto Basin and has completed paying compensation for crops on the land.
In the Bida Basin, the company has acquired 600LKm 2D Seismic Data, and the post-acquisition activities have reached 70% completion.
For the southern Chad Basin around Borno State, NNPC began the process of acquiring 500lKm 2D Seismic Data in 2020 but suspended the activities due to security threat. However, as of 7th November 2022, it has received security clearance from the Defence Headquarters (DHQ). It has also requested a waiver from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to commence operations.
The company has also completed the acquisition of 124Km2 3D seismic data for Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL)-813A which is the Kolmani River I. The post data acquisition activities are at 65% completion level before the drilling will commence.
In Nasarawa State, NNPC has obtained 3D seismic data of 86Km2 in Keana West but the post-acquisition activities are yet to commence.
For Yobe State, the company is prospecting for oil in Phase 13 Wadi where it is appraising a 168km2 likely area. In Adamawa State, NNPC is on phase 14 of Kinasar Prospect spanning 170km2 and phase 15 of Ziye Prospect spanning 172km2 all in the Bornu basin. The contract agreements for phases 13 and 14 have been executed while that of phase 15 is yet to be executed. The company has recently completed the security risk assessment for all the three prospect areas.
NNPC has almost completed processing of acquired seismic data for six other prospect areas in the frontier basins. The (Pre-Stack Time Migration (PSTM) reprocessing of data for 91 lines spanning about 2,968km awaits final deliverables. The PSTM for 700lkm Sokoto basin (2D data) has been completed; another for 600lkm Bida basin completed; that of 86km2 3D data for Keana has also been completed. NNPC has also completed 3D data PSTM for three oil prospect sites spanning over 1,000km.
The company is interpreting seismic data, which it has processed already for 13 sites. Among these are the Nasara well around Gombe, which is at 96.5% and KR S_E_NE at 98% level; the Keana process is at 28%, OPL 813A (Kolmani River I) at 53.3% and are being done by Seismax PPS. The KR S_E_NE is at 72% and is handled by Schlumberger.
While it is exploring these frontiers, the national oil company has also done fresh studies, especially at the Anambra Basin where there is an active oil well now between Anambra and Kogi. It has acquired 1400 samples of rocks around prospect oil sites to study to determine the potentiality of oil search in the basin.
The company is using non-conventional technologies around three sites for oil find surveys. At the Chad basin and the Benue trough, NNPC deployed a process called the Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG), which is 97% ongoing; it also deployed the FTG technology to study the Sokoto and Bida basins, which resulted in the acquisition of 2D data that have been interpreted and processed ahead of physical oil drill in the sites.
For the Benue Trough, the analysis indicates that NNPC utilised the Micromagnetic analysis process to aid oil find in the site while it suspended a similar process in the Chad Basin earlier due to security challenges. However, NNPC said it has obtained security clearance to commence the process in the coming year.
First published in Daily Trust dated Thursday 29 December 2022 by Simon Echewofun Sunday