The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has suspended its crude oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin and in parts of Borno State, after 48 members of its workforce and some military personnel were killed in an attack by Boko Haram.
Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, said the exercise had to be put on hold until the corporation gets sufficient clearance from the military to resume its oil search in the region.
Kachikwu commiserated with the families of victims, saying the corporation got the necessary clearance from security agencies before embarking on the trip on Tuesday.
He regretted that the team was ambushed by the insurgents but insisted that no work would happen at the site anytime soon.
The commercial oil found in neighboring Chad Republic had encouraged the NNPC, on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, to intensify and focus its exploratory work in the inland basins on the Chad Basin and Benue Trough areas.
In November 2016, it resumed exploration activities in Gubio, Magumeri, Monguno, Kukawa, Abadam, Guzamala and Mobar, after getting security advice from the military.
The bodies of 48 members of the exploration team killed in the attack have been deposited at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).
This was after the Nigerian army claimed that 10 of the abducted persons had been rescued.