Prof. Olanrewaju Aladeitan, a professor of Energy and Natural Resources, University of Abuja has lauded the new oil and gas discoveries in Nigeria, which indicate that the country has huge gas reserves. He said Nigeria could be more described as a gas country than a crude oil country because it had trillions cubic feet of gas reserves. Aladeitan made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja. President Muhammadu Buhari had in November 2022 inaugurated the Kolmani Integrated Development Project at Kolmani River II oil field located at a border community between Bauchi and Gombe States. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) in 2019 had announced the discovery of crude oil, gas and condensate in the Kolmani Oil Field with over one billion oil barrels reserves and 500 billion cubic feet of gas. The NNPCL is also set to develop the first oil well in Nasarawa State in March 2023 in view of its confirmation of presence of substantial hydro carbon resources in the state. Aladeitan said information from an insider revealed that data emerging from the Bauchi-Gombe axis showed that there was oil in commercial quantity, but with a caveat that gas could be more.
He said some of the new frontiers that were also being discovered in the country even had more gas reserves than crude oil reserves. “Which means Nigeria’s reserve of gas is very huge. Somewhere around Igbariam in Anambra we have a huge gas reserve there. Luckily, there are new frontiers coming up, we have the Bauchi-Gombe new oil and gas discovery that is fast coming on and recently in Nasarawa and also Niger. By the time the efforts are taken to the Sokoto Trough, we may also find some reserves there as well,” he said. Speaking on the perception of some people whether oil was truly found in the new locations, he said initially all the troughs had shown evidence of crude oil and gas in the past. But he said unfortunately the technology available then may not have made it possible to follow up the discoveries. He said though some people were skeptical about the discovery of oil in those environments, but it was not as if those areas never showed evidence of crude oil as there were traces.
According to him, the kind of technology that existed in the past could not make them explore further, but now there is advanced technology that has made it possible. The expert further said then Shell was exploring oil and given the entire country, but realised that the Niger Delta had more concentration of oil. This, he said made Shell to concentrate in that region, not that there had not been traces of oil in other places. “But we are not sure that if the exploration continues, whether or not it will show that it is in commercial quantity or not. But I can assure you from an insider view that the data emerging from the Bauchi-Gombe axis shows that there is oil in commercial quantity, but with a caveat that what they may get more might be gas. So, even in the Chad Basin, there are traces of it. There are evidences. It is just like what happened with shale gas; you know that there are some unconventional sources of gas and oil that is what the shale gas is all about.
“So, in some of those unconventional sources, you use new technology and you will definitely discover. What I am saying in essence is that with improved technology and improved knowledge now, we can get clearer pictures of those things we could not assess or have information about in the past. Some people ridiculously argued that they connected oil pipelines all the way from the Niger Delta region to Benue, which is a ridiculous thing to say,” he said. He, however, emphasised the need to cut down gas flare and take advantage of the economic potential of gas reserves in the country. (NAN)