April 15, 2024

Petroleum geologists across Nigerian universities receive PTDF funds to unlock Nigeria’s vast volumes of shale oil, hydrocarbon potential


Oredola Adeola

Professors of Petroleum Geology in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; the University of Jos and the University of Maiduguri sponsored by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) are carrying out geology, mining, and basinal studies, dedicated to unlocking the vast volumes of shale oil and hydrocarbon potentially locked up in the Anambra Basins, as well as other cretaceous and inland basins across Nigeria, with a view to ramping up the country’s reserves.

This was revealed by Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau, Executive Secretary, PTDF, while addressing participants at the one-day exploration and production workshop organized by the PTDF research Chair in Petroleum Geology, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Anambra State, themed: “Integrated Approach to Unlocking the Hydrocarbon Potentials of Cretaceous Basins: The Case of the Anambra Basin and the Southern Benue Trough, Nigeria”

EnergyDay’s check showed that Nigeria’s oil shale deposits are abundantly located mostly in Benue, Bornu, Adamawa, and Ebonyi States; with potential for shale gas in the Niger Delta region.

The development of this resource, according to experts, has not been undertaken in the country in the past, because accessible supplies of conventional hydrocarbons have been available at a lower development cost.

The ES PTDF who was represented at the workshop by Mr. Mannir Abubakar, Head, Research and Documentation PTDF, disclosed that the Fund’s various professorial Chairs instituted in Nigerian universities have over the years contributed to unlocking hydrocarbon potentials of the inland basins.

He said, “It is noteworthy that of the eight professorial endowment chairs instituted in selected universities across the country by the Fund, the chairs in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka University of Jos and University of Maiduguri are dedicated to Geology, Mining and Basinal Studies with a specific focus on the evaluation of shale oil and hydrocarbon potentials of the various cretaceous and inland basins in the country with a view to ramping up the nation’s reserves.”

He further gave report cards of the strides recorded by the PTDF towards unlocking the hydrocarbon potentials of Nigeria’s inland and cretaceous basins.

He said, “PTDF was fully involved in sponsoring the research project by the Chair at the University of Jos. The outcome of that research has reaffirmed our belief in a substantial deposit of oil and gas in the Middle Benue Trough.

“Also, the research conducted by the erstwhile PTDF Chair here at UNN, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, substantially reported the availability of Shale oil and Shale gas in the Anambra Basin.

“These are testaments to our continuous commitment to support research projects that will enhance the growth of the nation’s crude oil resource base,” the ES said.

Dr. Gusau, while assuring the stakeholders of the Fund’s determination to sponsor research in the oil and gas industry, said that the workshop will provide platforms to address the challenges militating against petroleum exploration and exploitation in the cretaceous basins of the country.

He said the event is not only geared towards increasing the oil and gas resource base of Nigeria but tallies with the mandate of PTDF in developing capacities, capabilities and competencies of Nigerians in the Oil and Gas industry.

The PTDF ES further revealed that the Fund has over the years, developed and executed various laudable programmes and projects for the development of indigenous manpower and technology in the oil and gas industry, geared towards the effective utilization of Nigerian crude oil resources.

He said, “The workshop theme has a direct bearing on the intent and focus of the mandate of the PTDF, which is the development of relevant indigenous competencies and capacities that will provide the nation with efficient and effective mechanisms for the utilization of its abundant oil and gas resources.

“It is my belief that this workshop has the necessary intellectual base and platform to proffer workable solutions to further unlock the inherent potentials of the sector,” the PTDF ES said.

Professor Charles Igwe, Vice-chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in his remark opined that the PTDF Chair workshop presents a rare opportunity to enhance knowledge on the hydrocarbon potentials of the cretaceous and the South Eastern inland basins given the array of experts and professionals assembled from across the industry and the academia.

He said, “This workshop promised to meet the curiosity of professionals and provide answers to questions from lecturers and students of learning”.

Professor Wilfred Mode, PTDF Professorial Chair occupant on Petroleum Geology, University of Nigeria, the convener of the workshop, in his remark commended the PTDF for the endowment of a chair in the University which he said, has recorded a significant milestone towards the Exploration and Production of the hydrocarbon resources of the Anambra basins, the Southern Benue Trough and other cretaceous basins of Nigeria.

Professor Mode blamed the Oloibiri discovery as the reason responsible for the abandonment of exploration and production activities in the inland basins despite the presence of hydrocarbons in areas.

According to him, except for the efforts of the PTDF, not much has been invested in the research.

He said, “Oil companies from the beginning were looking for liquid black gold and by 1956, they found it. Since then all the attention shifted to the Niger Delta and the inland and other cretaceous basins did not get desired attention, but thanks to PTDF.

PTDF has over the years, been sponsoring research in this area, supporting the PTDF Chair in UNN which generated a lot of results, looking at the various aspects of the basin, the source rock evaluation, characterization, basin modelling and all sought of things geared towards unravelling the petroleum systems of the Anambra and other cretaceous basins”.

Professor Mode further described the gathering of experts as a platform to proffer ways of exploring the vast potentials of the two basins.

He said, “We gather various experts from all over the world to speak on the various aspects of the exploration and other necessary things that we need to do to unlock the vast volumes of hydrocarbon, which we believed is locked up in the Anambra Basins.

He, therefore, assured the participants that the PTDF would surely provide a resource that will take us to the next level.

The petroleum geologists workshop was attended by professionals, experts and other critical stakeholders from the academia and the oil and gas industry, who shared different views on how to fashion out means of exploring the hydrocarbon potentials of the Anambra and other cretaceous basins of Nigeria

The interaction seeks to address issues of the basinal structures and dynamics, the stratigraphy and source rock evaluation, petroleum system analysis, remote sensing and GIS application as well as the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the exploration and production activities among others.

Among those who spoke at the occasion includes the President, Nigeria Academy of Science, a renowned geologist and former PTDF Chair, Professor Mosto Onuoha on the role of legislation in harnessing the basins potentials, private industry practitioner Dr Livinus Nosike, Dr Anthony Ofoma of Halliburton, Professor Nwabuje from the United States and other industry and academia experts.

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