Why FG suspended crude oil exploration in Chad Basin

….Will resume after assurance, clearance from
..We can’t confirm rescue of our workers from
Boko Haram terrorists
By Michael Eboh and Ifeoluwa Mic-Braimoh
ABUJA — The Federal Government, yesterday,
said it has suspended crude oil exploration in
the Lake Chad Basin following attack on
personnel of Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, NNPC, in Borno State by
suspected members of Boko Haram terrorist
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Minister of
State for Petroleum Resources and Chairman
of the NNPC Board, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu,
declared that NNPC would only resume
production if it got sufficient assurance and
security clearance from the military
authorities, guaranteeing the safety of its
personnel and operations.
He said, “Whether we will resume, obviously,
will depend again on what security clearance
is given. Certainly, we will not go back unless
they give us clearance; just like we did not go
in before they gave us clearance. Provided
they are sufficient security clearance, I don’t
see why we would not continue to push.”

He described the incident as unfortunate,
lamenting that the attack still occurred after
over six months in that area and despite the
fact that there were over 200 security
personnel protecting the oil exploration team,
comprising members of the military and the
Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, and others.
He said, “The lessons we are going to take
away from this incident is that we are going to
look at the security apparatus and find out
whether they are a little bit more we can do. I
know that they were over 200 security
personnel, between the military, the CJTF and
others. They were very well protected, and as
I said, the activities had been going on for
over six months.”
He stated that adequate security clearance
was obtained from the military authorities
before exploration work resumed in the Lake
Chad Basin, adding that the day of the attack
was supposed to be last day of the operation
of the team.
Yet to confirm rescue
He further stated that the NNPC is delighted
by the report of some rescue of the victims,
noting, however, that it cannot actually
confirm the rescue.
“We await official confirmation from the
military authorities in line with established
protocols,” Kachikwu noted.
He further stated that the military is still
collating data concerning the attack and
cannot confirm the actual number of people
who died.

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