The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) recentlyconducted a two day Regional Technology Knowledge Sharing Programme (RTKSP) at the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto with focus on the hydrocarbon potentials of the Sokoto and other frontier basins of Nigeria. This is a significant step towards the application of knowledge from its sponsorship of local research to solve problems of the oil and gas industry.

The Fund endowed a Professorial chair in the university with research focus on the “Geo-chemical mapping of the Potential Source Rock in the Sokoto Basin of Nigeria”. The team of researchers is led by the Chair occupant, Professor Umar Z Faruk.

Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwuin a keynote presented at the opening ceremony by the Executive Secretary PTDF, Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau said the presence of the Governors of Sokoto and Kebbi States and the representation of Zamfara and Katsina States send a strong message to the managers of the hydro carbon resources in Nigeria that, it’s long overdue for serious activities to commence on the exploration of the vast hydrocarbon potentialsin the Northwest region.

The Minister commended the University, PTDF and Sokoto State governmentfor collaborating in organizing the programme which he said will go a long way to unravel the potentials of the basin as well as its economic significance.

“I am therefore commending this brilliant initiative because it provides an important avenue for learning and knowledge sharing on the greater potentials this basin is likely to offer. The Sokoto basin is definitely an important basin with strategic location and potentials. Eventual commercialization of this basin along with other inland basins will not only rub-off on our energy needs as a nation but will also provide an energy pathway beyond Nigeria for other countries who need resources”.

The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources gave the assurance that the ministry will work with all relevant stakeholders to harness the hydrocarbon potentials of the frontier basins.“Recently, the Federal Executive Council approved the new national oil and gas policy and one of the key initiatives being vigorously pursued under this policy is harnessing our reserves in the frontier basins, the responsibility of having reserve like in Sokoto basin is a task we must deliver with the right framework to ensure full utilization of such basins. The Ministry of Petroleum Resources is working with DPR in conducting an inland bid rounds possibly this year. This will ensure that, the direction needed to be taken by Nigeria is taken and we remain focus on this important energy security goal”.

The, Sokoto StateGovernor, RtHon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in his address commend PTDF for sponsoring the knowledge sharing programme which according to him will assist in enriching knowledge on the hydrocarbon prospectivity of the Sokoto basin.

He said, the more oil and gas recovered the better for our nation’s economy and its development because it is proven that fossil fuel will still account for 60% of the world energy demand up to 2050. He said that, further discoveries of oil reserve can only be achieved by exploring the inland basins since the Niger Delta and off-shore regions of the country are largely exploited.

In a welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, UsmanuDanfodio University, Sokoto, Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru said that, the workshop was held with the specific purpose of attracting the attention of the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to the Sokoto basin and its potentials in the area of the hydrocarbon exploration considering the cardinal role of hydrocarbon to the Nigerian economy.

There were goodwill messages from the President, Nigerian Academy of Science, Professor MostoOnuoha, Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar AtikuBagudu, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji(Dr) Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and the representatives of the GMD, NNPC, DrMaikantiBaru and the DPR Mr M D ladan. The guest lecture on “Crude oil and natural gas potentials of Sokoto Basin” was delivered by the Director, National Center for Petroleum Research and Development, ATBU, Bauchi, Professor, Mohammed Bello Abubakar.