It is indeed my pleasure and honour to deliver the Regulator’s remark at this important event marking the presidential flag-off ceremony for the commencement of Exploratory Drilling activities in the Oil Prospecting Licence 826 (Ebenyi-A Well) in the Middle Benue Trough. This event also marks another milestone in the decades of hydrocarbon exploration in the inland frontier basins and underscores the effort government is making in ensuring that requisite investments are made in Frontier Basin exploration in Nigeria.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in conveying this Goodwill Message, permit me to pay a glowing tribute to His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his commitment to mitigate energy poverty, create shared prosperity and enthrone sustainable growth in the Nigerian Economy. In the same vein we wish to commend the Board and Management of NNPC Limited especially the effort of my Dear Brother, Mele Kyari GCEO of NNPC Limited for his commitment towards exploitation of our hydrocarbon resources. Similarly, we wish to congratulate the good people of Nasarawa State for this groundbreaking occasion of Ebenyi A spudding, the first exploration well that will be drilled in the Benue trough in Nigeria. Considering the positive results recorded from the enormous exploration activities carried out in the Basin, we are optimistic of hydrocarbon discovery upon drilling to the prognosed total depth. We fervently believe that the outcome of the drilling activity will usher in wealth creation and massive economic prosperity for the people of Nasarawa State and the Nation in general.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, one of the key regulatory focus of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is to grow reserves from the current 37 Billion barrels of oil to 40 Billion barrels of oil by 2030. The PIA 2021 provided the regulatory support and framework for achieving this objective by providing for the Frontier Exploration Fund which the NNPC Limited can utilize to deploy world class cutting-edge technologies to de-risk exploration in the frontier basins. The spud-in of Ebenyi-A fields will benefit from the fund and this will significantly contribute to boosting our oil reserves and facilitate sustainable domestic energy security.
Remarkably, today’s event is coming at a time when global discussions and focus is on energy transition and climate change. We all recall the commitment that Mr. President made during COP26 in Scotland that Nigeria will attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2060. That commitment has profound implications on the manner in which our natural resources will be exploited and is responsible for measures which have already been taken such as the development of the Guidelines for Management of Fugitive Methane and Greenhouse Gases Emissions by the NUPRC to ensure the crystallization of the Net-Zero objective.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in concluding this Goodwill remark, let me express that the NUPRC will ensure the implementation of the Host Community provisions in the PIA, 2021 is extended to the people of host communities in Nasarawa State in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Once again, I congratulate the Board and Members of NNPC, the good people of Nasarawa State and the Nigerian Federation on this yet another milestone in the development of our national hydrocarbon resources.
Thank you all.