By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The ongoing search for commercial hydrocarbon in the inland sedimentary basins by the Research and Development Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has received a boost with a recent partnership with US-based Halliburton Corporation.
Both organisations will step up efforts to achieve the exact location of viable crude oil deposits in the inland.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Group General Manager in charge of the R&D Division, Dr Bola Afolabi, disclosed that the collaboration with Halliburton would help fast-track the inland basin exploration efforts through the use of the innovative Neftex solution designed to provide exactitude in drilling for oil.
He said the Halliburton Neftex solution would provide a geophysical mapping structure of the country and would complement the ongoing in-house efforts by the NNPC research centre to develop what is known as “Turonian Cenomanian Cretaceous source rock” for all the basins in Nigeria.
This essentially seeks to identify all the prolific basins in Nigeria by locating the cretaceous kitchen, that is, areas where large crude deposits could be found.
‘’If you take a football field for instance, there are technologies that will direct you to drill for oil within the whole field but we are using a soft wear solution that will tell you with exactitude to drill for instance in goal post one and when you do that you find large oil. That is what we are seeking to achieve with Neftex solution’’, Dr Afolabi explained.
Dr Afolabi said the collaborative research with Halliburton, which had crossed the 65 percent threshold, would take 18 months to complete.
‘’We are so excited about this project and with the assured support of the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, our projection is that by the turn of next year, we should be able to help the frontier basin team achieve a pin-point location of possible commercial oil finds for eventual drilling activities’’, he said.
The GGM also informed that research work had reached advance stage on the Federal Government commissioned project assigned by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, to classify Nigeria’s crude oil and natural gas.
‘’The idea is to check Nigeria natural gas and condensate using the OPEC classification model and determine whether it is within the upper limits or lower limits. The ability to do that well will enable Nigeria to properly classify its Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) and also gas condensate so we don’t mismatch production of oil with condensate because if you do that you may short change yourself,’’ he said.
He also stated that the NNPC research centre was already working on a project to enhance production from existing assets by introducing a cost effective and reliable alternative to drilling new wells. Already successful pilot scheme has been executed in collaboration with its strategic partners – Cypher Crescent Limited.
‘’With minimal cost, remarkable additional production potential was discovered. We are talking about a digital approach to wells & reservoir management. We are applying a first of its kind technology to easily reveal hidden opportunities and propose realistic well intervention programmes. We are seeking to improve the success rate of exploration and production well intervention activities, reduce operations and improve asset integrity, among others”, he said.
Established in 1977 to provide solution to operational and technical challenges of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, the NNPC R&D Division currently has on its employ, three professors, 12 Ph.D holders and handful of master degree graduates in various fields of the sciences ranging from geology to chemistry and physics.
Under the ongoing NNPC restructing, the projection is to transform the 40-year old research outfit into an autonomous and well equipped one-stop shop technology centre in the frontline of petroleum technology development efforts in the West Coast of Africa and beyond.
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