Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has suspended exploration for crude oil in the Lake Chad Basin.
This is following the recent attacks on its workers and some military personnel by Boko Haram.
Speaking on Thursday, the minister said the exploration would begin when the military gives sufficient clearance.
”The reality is that anytime the NNPC decides to go into a terrain, it first gets the privilege of security advice and that security advice, I can say, was sufficiently cleared.
”Certainly, we will not go back unless they (military) give us a clearance, just like we didn’t go in before they gave us a clearance,” he said.
Speaking on the attack on the oil workers and military operatives, Kachikwu stated that the NNPC Frontier Exploration Services and Surface Geochemistry Sampling crew comprising of three consultants attached to the FES and the Integrated Data Services Limited, nine external consultants from the University of Maiduguri, military personnel and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force were ambushed by Boko Haram.
He said the team was returning to Maiduguri after conducting a survey mapping/geological study of parts of the Lake Chad Basin, in preparation for re-entry for seismic activities.