By CrossRiverWatch admin
There are indications that Cross River state may find its way back into the league of oil producing states in Nigeria.
This indication was given to CrossRiverWatch recently by Mr. Maurice Ekong, the Special Adviser on Oil and Gas to Governor Ben Ayade, who disclosed that the state governments’ engagement with the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR has yielded results with the department accepting to send a team of consultants to the state immediately to begin the blocking of identified locations into oil fields.
While speaking to CrossRiverWatch, Mr. Ekong said, “My first directive and mandate from His Excellency was to get the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR to divide Cross River State into oil blocks as a first step for granting of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) and thus pave the way for full oil exploration in the state.
“Till date Cross River State is the only state in the Niger Delta where there are no oil block concessions.
“When I met with the Director of DPR and his team, he was very supportive of the demand by Cross River State for blocking the state into oil fields and accordingly, he directed that the consultants responsible for the project be activated to move to site in Cross River State immediately.
“It should be pointed out that there were some weak opposing technical arguments why Cross River State was not listed initially. First is because past data shows that the hydrocarbon finds in Cross River State are not commercially viable. I was able to knock off that argument with the point that there are new technologies that have rendered those data obsolete and unreliable.
“I pointed out to them that a few years ago, Saudi Arabia was listed as the country with the highest proven reserve of crude oil in the world, followed by Iran, Kuwait etc but with the introduction of new technologies into crude seismic exploration, Saudi Arabia and her Arab neighbours no longer enjoy the prime spots in the world. Today, Venezuela and Canada are occupying 1st and 2nd positions respectively, thanks to new technology. The same can also happen with Cross River State.
“Mr. E. Inyang who represented the Lease Division of DPR at the meeting assured me that he has already assembled the consultants and was hopeful that they should be in Cross River State within 2 – 4 weeks max to commence the “blocking” of Cross River State in Oil fields/blocks.
“With this development the Director of DPR was optimistic that after the exercise, carved out acreages within Cross River State would for the first time in the history of the state, be listed for inclusion into the next oil blocks bidding exercise in Nigeria.”
Several attempts to reach the Director of DPR, Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan were not successful as calls to his phone over two days kept indicating that the number is switched off or temporally out of service.
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