Kolmani Oil Exploration Abandoned, Contractors Leaving the Site – Rep Raises Alarm

A member of the Nigerian House of Representatives has alarmed that the federal government has abandoned oil exploration at the Kolmani Oil Field.

Hon. Inuwa Garba revealed that contractors are deserting the site which suggests the project could be discontinued. T

Hon. Garba has urged the house to request the federal government to provide more information on the reasons behind the suspension of the oil drilling project in the area.

In November 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari launched the oil drilling project in the Kolmani area, located on the border of Bauchi and Gombe states. However, two years after the project’s inception, the project has reportedly has been halted.

The federal parliamentarian who introduced the motion, noted that, “Now the companies that are working on oil extraction are packing and leaving as if they are trying to abandon this work.”

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Garba explained that he visited the site and communicated with local residents. Being from Gombe state, which shares the oil site with Bauchi, he conveyed the frustration of the local people through the BBC Hausa. “This is the reason why I presented the motion—to address the situation we are in and reflect on the state of Nigeria,” he said.

The lawmaker clarified that people speculate the suspension is due to security issues, “but this is not the case.” He emphasised that the governors of Gombe and Bauchi, along with traditional rulers, “have successfully addressed security concerns in the area. Therefore, security is not the reason for the project’s halt.”

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Hon. Garba urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to fulfil his promise to ensure the continuation of the oil drilling. He stressed the need for adequate funding to resume the project which will ignite development in the northern part of the country.

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Crude oil exploration activities at the Kolmani Oil Field have been dormant since a presidential inauguration 18 months ago. 

A resident of the Kolmani area, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that drilling at the site has been suspended since after the inauguration. “About a year ago, we saw the contractors (Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited) moving its drilling equipment, and nothing has been going on here,” he said.

What Kolmani Oil Could Provide

On 22 November 2022, NNPC, in partnership with New Nigeria Development Company, began drilling at two oil blocks, OPL809 and OPL810, in the Kolmani Oil Field. 

The field was projected to hold about one billion barrels of crude oil and 500 billion cubic feet of gas and is also expected to generate about 50,000 barrels of crude oil daily, with exploration lasting until 2060.

Bauchi Speaks

Bello Maiwada, the Bauchi State Commissioner for Natural Resources, earlier stated that the state government has provided an enabling environment for smooth operations, stressing that they have been engaging with relevant federal stakeholders to expedite work on the site. 

“Issues concerning crude oil exploration fall under the exclusive powers of the federal government. So, we don’t have much to say about the exploration itself. In terms of security, personnel can work and move freely without fear for their safety and that of their equipment because adequate security measures have been put in place. However, as a state, we are stakeholders in the process because we are the host community. Virtually, every move we make will naturally be from this position,” Maiwada said.

The commissioner also acknowledged that no significant progress has been made since the commencement of drilling at Kolmani.

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