The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) sponsored research Chair in Petroleum Geology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka has gathered Professionals, Experts and other critical stakeholders from the academia and the oil and gas industry to fashion out means of exploring the hydrocarbon potentials of the Anambra and other cretaceous basins of Nigeria. The experts who gathered under the auspices of the PTDF Professorial Chair occupant in a one-day exploration and production workshop organized by the chair at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka themed “Integrated Approach to Unlocking the Hydrocarbon Potentials of Cretaceous Basins: The Case of the Anambra Basin and the Southern Benue Trough, Nigeria” extensively interrogated the petroleum systems of the cretaceous basins with a hope to fully resume exploration and production activities in earnest.


The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau while assuring the stakeholders of the Fund’s determination to sponsor researches in the industry, said 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. He disclosed 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.

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”.

Executive Secretary, PTDF whose message was delivered by Mr Mannir Abubakar, Head, Research and Documentation PTDF, said the Fund’s various professorial Chairs instituted in Nigerian universities have over the years contributed to unlocking hydrocarbon potentials of the inland basins.

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 the Nigerian’s inland and cretaceous basins.  “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 Vice-chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Professor Charles Arinze Chukwu Igwe 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. “This workshop promised to meet the curiosity of professionals and provide answers to questions from lecturers and students of learning”. 


Represented by Professor Johnson Orama, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, disclosed that, an opportunity to learn, collaborate, network and engage with industry and academia experts has always been the distinguishing attributes of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

Professor Wilfred Mode, PTDF Professorial Chair occupant on Petroleum Geology, University of Nigeria, in his remark commended the PTDF for the endowment of a chair in the University which 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.


The Professorial Chair occupant blamed the Oloibiri discovery as responsible for the abandonment of exploration and production activities in the basins despite the presence of hydrocarbon. According to him, except for the efforts of the PTDF not much has been invested in the research. “ Oil companies from the beginning are 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 over the years has 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 describes the gathering of experts as a means that will proffer ways of exploring the vast potentials of the two basins “Today 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 that we believed is locked up in the Anambra Basins, they will surely provide a resource that will take us to the next level” He pointed.


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.


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.