The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday announced its preparedness to explore for crude oil in the Gulf of Guinea in a bid to increase the country’s reserves.

According to the Group Managing Director of the national oil firm, Dr. Maikanti Baru, the corporation will also search for crude in other acreages, as it is important to shore up the NNPC portfolio.

Baru, who made this known during a courtesy call on the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, vowed to improve the reserves and production capacity of the corporation’s exploration and production subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company.

In a statement issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the GMD admitted that the NPDC had shown growth in its proven reserves, but emphasised the need to expand the company’s footprints in the upstream sub-sector of the oil and gas industry.

“As part of our 12 business focus areas, we are dedicated to growing the NPDC, thereby increasing our reserves portfolio. We will not relent until the NPDC exceeds its current position of being the seventh largest oil producer in Nigeria,” Baru said.

To achieve this, he stated that the NNPC “would aggressively explore opportunities in other petroleum acreages in Nigeria, and with particular interest in the Gulf of Guinea.”

According to him, the NNPC is also working hard to improve the portfolio of services rendered to the oil industry by its second Edo-based upstream outfit, known as the Integrated Data Services Company.

“The long-term objective is for the IDSL to be on its own so as to actualise its vision of becoming the ultimate centre for the provision of geophysical and petroleum engineering services in the oil and gas industry,” Baru said

He observed that Edo State had been relatively peaceful with least incidents of pipeline vandalism and sabotage compared to other areas in the Niger Delta, and lauded the state government for collaborating with security agencies in safeguarding oil and gas facilities in its domain.

Obaseki, according to the statement, pledged that his government would do everything within its powers to make Edo a hub for the national oil firm.

He said his government was working hard to improve on the local security plans by encouraging community policing and intelligence gathering towards safeguarding oil and gas facilities in the state.

Source: Punch

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