A crisis appears to be brewing over the ownership of the Kolmani Oil and Gas field as both Bauchi and Gombe States have started laying claims to the oil wells.
Officials and residents of the two states have also accused each other of attempting to appropriate the site which is said to contain one billion barrels of crude oil reserves and 500 billion standard cubic feet of gas.
The development is coming barely two weeks after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), inaugurated oil exploration at the Kolmani oil field by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited and its joint venture partners.
Kolmani in North-East Nigeria reportedly has oil in commercial quantities with Oil Prospecting Licences 809 and 810, cutting across Kolmani One, Two, Three, Four and Five.
Speaking during the event, Buhari disclosed that the project has attracted over $3bn investments so far.
The president said, “We are pleased with the current discovery of over 1b barrels of oil reserves and 500 billion Cubic Feet of Gas within the Kolmani area and the huge potential for more deposits as we intensify exploration efforts.’’
“It is, therefore, to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetite for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able to attract investment of over $3bn to this project,” he added.
Buhari noted that the governors of Bauchi and Gombe states had given assurances of their unwavering commitment and willingness to ensure support and cooperation in the localities.
However, the governors’ assurances seemed to have been forgotten as the two states declared that they were the rightful owners of the oil-rich field.