Breaking: Nigeria discovers oil and gas in Kolmani area in the north

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The Nigerian government has announced the discovery of over 1 billion barrels of oil reserves and 500 billion cubic feet of gas within the Kolmani area.

The Kolmani oil field in the Benue trough is a territorial demarcation of the borderline between the Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi state and the Akko Local Government Area of Gombe state.

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, made the announcement via his Twitter handle on Tuesday, November 22 2022, at about 9.33 pm.

Mr. Buhari described it as a "successful discovery" that " finally broke the jinx."

Kolmani Area
Kolmani Area

"This discovery has emanated from our charge to @nnpclimited to re-strategize & expand its oil & gas exploration footprints to the frontier basins: Anambra, Dahomey, Sokoto, Benue trough, Chad & Bida Basins. Similar exploration activities across other basins are currently ongoing," the Nigerian President said in the statement.

The President spoke with the Governors of Bauchi and Gombe States, and "both have given me assurances of their unwavering commitment and willingness to ensure support and cooperation in these localities as this activity affects the local populations."

The government has urged the oil giants, NNPC Ltd, New Nigeria Development Company (NNPC), and their partners "to ensure all lessons learnt from our years of experience as an oil-producing nation are utilized to ensure harmonious relationship with the local communities.

The President said the discovery is a credit to his administration when there is a near-zero appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with location challenges, adding that "we have been able to attract investment of over $3 billion to this project."

"Let me also restate our commitment as a nation to pursuing a just energy transition programme that will culminate in us achieving a Net-Zero position by 2060," the President stressed.

Meanwhile, Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed, has assured Mr Buhari that oil drilling in the Kolmani area "will not breed any conflict or violence associated with the exploration of mineral resources."

Muhammadu Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari

The governor stated this on Tuesday during the official flag-off of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project, which was held at the Barambu community in Alkaleri LGA.

Mohammed said that “history will remember you as the brain behind the successful search for oil in some Northern states, which led to the discovery of the oil in commercial quantity in Bauchi, Gombe States.

“We are proud to associate ourselves with this key milestone achievement of the first official drilling of oil at the Kolmani River II Oil Field Project site in Alkaleri Local Government Area, Bauchi State.

“Your patriotism, selfless service and commitment to the development of Nigeria are indelible and will remain forever.

Mr Buhari started the drilling on February 2, 2019, when he visited the state to spud in the Kolmani River-II well.

Battle for Kolmani area between Bauchi and Gombe State

Fight for ownership of Kolmani immediately followed after Mr Buhari announced the decision to drill the area for oil and gas.

A former governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje called on Mr Buhari to interview to determine who owns the newly discovered oil well between the two states to avert conflict.

His call was not unconnected to a statement released by a community organization in Alkaleri local government area of Bauchi state known as Alkaleri Development Foundation that the oil well area located in Barambu village in the local government.

According to a statement by its Chairman, Barrister Muslim Malgari, "Our attention is drawn to a statement credited to our elder statesman, Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje, during a retreat organized for the newly appointed commissioners of Gombe State calling on the federal government to intervene in order to determine who owns the Kolman oil wells.

“We view this statement with concern because it is needless because the wells are situated in Barambu village of Maimadi Ward in Alkaleri local government area of Bauchi state.

”Although, the Kolman river is the territorial demarcation of the borderline between Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State and Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State,” he claimed.

“It is Alkaleri Local government that provides them with basic amenities like hospital, water, school, security, market, polio and immunization programmes. In fact, when they vote during elections, their votes are collated at INEC office in Alkaleri.

“The area was part of my constituency during the last general election when I contested for the House of Representatives to represent Alkaleri/Kirfi Federal Constituency. I was in those communities for the campaign several times. I still visit in order to sustain my structures.

“This statement becomes necessary in order to clear the air and put things in correct perspectives,” the statement reads.

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