The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari disclosed on Thursday that the corporation has discovered crude oil in Benue Trough in commercial quantity.

Kyari who disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja by the NNPC’s spokesperson, Kennie Obateru said Nigerian geologists were spearheading efforts in the discovery of the commodity in the trough.

NNPC announced the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin in the North Eastern part of Nigeria in October last year.

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In the statement issued on Thursday, NNPC said it would grow the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves to 40 billion barrels through reinvigorated exploratory activities in the inland frontier basins cross the country.

Kyari maintained that the strategy was to aggressively explore for more oil in the frontier basins in order to grow the nation’s reserve base in line with the Federal Government’s aspiration to hit the 40 billion barrels reserve target.

According to him, NNPC’s key aspiration was to grow the nation’s hydrocarbon reserves, reduce unit operating cost of crude oil production to $10 per barrel and improve efficiency across its businesses.

“It is my pleasure to appreciate the good work and resilience of our in-house professionals in the ongoing inland basins exploration activities that culminated in the recent discovery of hydrocarbons in Benue Trough,” he said.