The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it had commenced exploration activities in the Gongola Basin as part of its efforts to further expand the nation’s oil resource base, Leadership reported.

NNPC’s Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, stated that exploratory activities in the Gongola Basin has started with the aim of further growing oil and gas reserves and taking advantage of low oil prices which make inland exploration cost effective, Ecofin Agency informed.

Baru recently announced that the country’s oil and gas reserves, which had fallen at the height of militant attacks on infrastructures, has increased to 37b barrels, and relative calmness in Niger Delta contributed to the increase in gas reserves to 192tcf.

Additionally, in another development, the NNPC boss stated that, as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the perennial problem of pipeline vandalism and sundry security challenges bedeviling the oil and gas industry, the NNPC had outlined plans to establish a security advisory council.

According to him, the proposed security advisory council would involve critical stakeholders including security agencies, Niger Delta leaders and international oil companies, and would address all security and host community agitations.