Rediscovery of Decades-Old Oil Wells Sparks Hope for Cross River State’s Future

Youth-Led Effort Reveals Over 30 Dormant Oil Wells Capped by Shell Petroleum in the 1950s

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In a significant breakthrough, more than 30 oil wells that had been capped by Shell Petroleum approximately 65 years ago have been unearthed in Ikot Offiong Community of Cross River State. The revelation follows a meticulous investigation undertaken by the determined youth of Ikot Offiong, who, with a sense of purpose, located the concealed oil points that were established and sealed by Shell during the 1950s. This recent discovery, as reported by The Guardian, has ignited anticipation for renewed prosperity in the region.

 

Under the leadership of Asuquo Joseph, the community’s youth rallied to scour various corners of the area, meticulously identifying the oil wells that had remained hidden for decades. Expressing gratitude for this natural endowment, Asuquo Joseph also urged the federal government to intervene, fostering lasting harmony not only within Ikot Offiong but also in the neighboring Oku Iboku community. The appeal includes a call to develop these oil wells for the mutual benefit of Ikot Offiong’s inhabitants and the state as a whole.

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In a statement to our correspondent, Joseph emphasized the importance of embracing peace, highlighting the toll the oil wells had taken on the youth over the years. He underscored the necessity of unity for the collective betterment of all.

 

Etubom Nyah Asuquo, the esteemed clan head of Mbiabo Ikot Offiong within the Odukpani Council of the state, shed light on the historical context of the wells. According to him, Shell conducted extensive exploration work in the community during the late 1950s, resulting in the burial of around 30 exploration wells. These wells, it was determined, contained a substantial amount of gas and relatively less oil after 2-D seismic studies were conducted once the exploration was concluded. At that time, the focus was predominantly on oil rather than gas. However, global preferences have since shifted, with gas gaining prominence.

 

Etubom Asuquo, who previously served as the Nigerian Ambassador to Uganda, shared his dedication to returning Cross River to its status as an oil-producing state. Over the past eight years, he tirelessly worked towards this goal and identified two distinct oil fields within the state. These oil fields, registered with the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), include OPL 2020, situated in Ikot Offiong territory, and OPL 2021, spanning from Adiabo towards Akpabuyo. Notably, the ongoing conflict between Ikot Offiong and Oku Iboku communities is rooted in these oil fields.

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As the region prepares to tap into these long-forgotten oil resources, a new era of development and collaboration appears to be on the horizon. The rediscovery of these wells has not only stirred economic prospects but also rekindled the flame of unity and progress within the communities.

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