By Modupe Gbadeyanka Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Maikanti Baru, has expressed the readiness of the state-owned oil firm to work closely with the Nigerian Mining & Geosciences Society (NMGS) \u201csearch for more hydrocarbon deposits in the country.\u201d Mr Baru made this disclosure shortly after being conferred with the honourary fellowship of the Society in Kano on Tuesday. He said this move is mainly to grow the nation\u2019s abundant hydrocarbon reserves. The GMD acknowledged the \u201cindispensable role\u201d played by geoscientists, mining engineers as well as metallurgists towards the development of the nation\u2019s Oil and Gas Industry, describing the NMGS as critical to the attainment of the NNPC\u2019s core mandate. \u201cNNPC pledges to continue to work with you and every willing partner in the search for more hydrocarbon deposits in the country,\u201d he said. He said it was in line with this collaboration that the corporation developed a strategy involving various geoscience departments in the country\u2019s tertiary institutions which culminated in the renewed search for hydrocarbon deposits in the inland basins. \u201cOur search is primarily targeted at increasing the hydrocarbon reserves of the country and also to harness these resources which may be in other parts of the country,\u201d he added. He described as \u201csaddening\u201d last year\u2019s unfortunate incident which claimed the lives of some University of Maiduguri staff working on the Chad basin exploration as well as the loss of one of the corporation\u2019s staff working on the Benue Trough exploration. \u201cI pledge on behalf of the NNPC that their sacrifice shall not be in vain. There is no better way to honour the efforts of our gallant heroes than to continue the good work they died for,\u201d he added. On the Chad Basin exploration, the GMD observed that the corporation planned to drill four wells in areas that it has acquired 1, 961kmsq 3D seismic data out of 3,550kmsq planned. He said NNPC would be going into the deeper Maiduguri sub-basin to acquire more 3D seismic data as soon as normalcy returns to the Chad basin. \u201cWhile waiting for normalcy to return to the Chad Basin, we have stepped up efforts in the Lower Benue trough. So far, we have acquired 20km of 2D data out of the planned 455km 2d seismic data,\u201d he added. On the Gongola Basin, Mr Baru said four wells were also being planned for drilling to further test the prospects identified around Kolmani River-1, Nasara-1 and Kuzari-1 in 2018. He thanked the Society for conferring on him with their Fellowship, saying that the recognition would spur him to rededicate himself towards giving his all for the Oil and Gas Industry and by extension the country. He pledged to re-dedicate himself to the lofty ideals of NGMS, stressing that he would not disappoint the Society in the trust it reposed in him. Earlier in his speech, the President of the NMGS, Prof. Silas Dada said the Society was honouring the GMD for his untiring commitment and service to the growth of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. Established in 1977 for the advancement and practice of mining, earth sciences and metallurgy, the Nigerian Mining and geosciences Society (NMGS) is charged with upholding the ethics and safeguarding the interests of the professions covered by the society.