Anambra oil well.

No fewer than 50 oil wells have reportedly been discovered in commercial quantities across twelve communities in Anambra state, awaiting full exploration.

Chairman of the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas (HOSCON) in Anambra state, Mr. Anthony Chiokwe who made the disclosure during their general meeting at Nsugbe, Oyilocal government area of the state, disclosed that oil deposits found in parts of the state were in commercial quantities.

“Contrary to the allusions by some people that the oil in the state was not found in commercial quantity, if the 50 oil wells could be harnessed, a lot of revenue would be generated by both the federal and state governments, as well as the host communities.

Mr. Chiokwe further disclosed that the number of oil wells were discovered to be up to 50 following his mandate to all his members to go to their various communities and bring a comprehensive list of oil wells, take photographs of such wells, discuss with various town union leaders and their traditional rulers and find out if they are interested in exploring the oil.

He mentioned the six communities where the oil wells have so far been discovered as Ogwu-Ikpelle and Ogwu-Aniocha communities of Ogbarulocal government area; Anaku, Umerum and Omor communities in Ayamelumlocal government area; Aguleri in Anambra East local government area, Abagana in Njikokalocal government area and Ifitedunu, Ukpo and Umunnachi in Dunukofialocal government area and Okija in Ihialalocal government area.

Flanked by other executive members of HOSCON, including the Deputy Chairman, AneneOnyilegbe Gregory; State Woman Leader, Hon. UjuIzuakor and the National Community Liaison Officer (NCLO) representing Anambra state HOSCOM, Mrs. Felicia Nwankwo, Chiolwe disclosed that Aguleri alone has 26 oil wells, while Ogwu-Ikpelle has as much as 16 oil wells, just like Ogwu-Aniocha has five wells, Anaku has nine wells, Umerum, three wells, two wells in Abagana, while Okija and Umunnachi wells were said to have been overflown and are currently spilling.

He explained that most of the oil wells were discovered by Shell Development Corporation in the past years, while Sterling Global Resources, an Indian company is currently exploring one of the 16 oil wells at Ogwu-Ikpelle, just as Orient Petroleum resources is busy exploring some other oil wells in Anambra West, Anambra East and Ayamelum council areas of the state.

In his speech, the Deputy Chairman, Onyilegbe, appealed to the state government to urgently set up an Oil Development Commission, like in other oil producing states, to enable the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources pay the federal government approved 13 percent oil derivation fund to the state, for onward transmission to the host communities.

At Omor oil field, the Secretary-General of the town union, Joseph Nonyelum confirmed that the oil wells were discovered by Shell many years ago, but now Orient Petroleum Resources are exploring the oil at Omor and Umerum communities.

The National Chairman of HOSCON, Prince Mike Emuh, ina recent visit to Anambra state where he met with traditional rulers in the state, disclosed that the federal government had recognised Anambra state as an oil producing state, adding that about 10 modular refineries had been approved by the government each to be cited in each of the oil producing states in the country, out of which one of the refineries would be cited in Anambra.

Emuh further told the traditional rulers that the federal government also approved the employment of 10,000 youths to serve as oil surveillance squad from all the oil producing states, out of which 1,000 youths are to be employed in Anambra state, adding that he was in the state to ask the royal fathers to mention a particular place where the modular refinery would be cited in the state and to prepare for the selection of the youths to be employed.

Emuh, who is also a member of federal government’s governing council on petroleum, also handed over all the documents containing the approvals from the federal government and a copy of HOSCON’s constitution to the royal fathers.

Responding to Emuh, the State Chairman of Anambra Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, had expressed satisfaction with the hope to include the state among the oil producing states..