In a dramatic turn of event, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated the commercial production of crude oil and gas from the Kolmani Integrated Development Project.

The Kolmani project with Oil Prospecting Licence 809 and 810 lies in the Gongola Basin of the Upper Benue Trough, straddling two Northern states of Gombe and Bauchi.

According to its promoters, the field is to start producing about 50,000 barrels of crude oi per day and holds over one billion barrels of crude oil reserves, thus shooting up Nigeria’s oil reserves to over 38 billion barrels.

Speaking at the event, President Buhari said the facility attracted $3bn worth of invetments despite the lack of appetite in the oil sector.

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He said, “Considering the land locked location and the huge capital requirement, the economics of the project is a challenging proposition.

“Consequently, from the onset, I instructed NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Company) Limited to utilise and leverage their vast asset portfolio across all corridors of its operations to de-risk the project to attract the much-needed investment. I have directed NNPC to continue along these lines.

“It is, therefore, to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able attract investment of over $3bn to this project.”

The President described the ceremony as important in the economic history of Nigeria, “as we move closer to production of oil and gas in the Upper Benue Trough, specifically, the Kolmani River oil and gas field, straddling Bauchi and Gombe states.”