Ondo State government in partnership with an American firm, Liquefied Resources is set to kick off bitumen exploration in the state.
Liquefied Resources is investing One hundred and fifty million dollars ($150,000,000) in the project, and expects to begin with 10,000 barrel per day and later increase to 25,000 barrel per day soon.
The exploration agreement which will take off immediately was sealed with a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) signed by Secretary to Ondo State Government, Dr. Aderotimi Adelola, on behalf of Ondo State Government, while the President of Liquefied Resources, Thomas Cooley, signed for his company.
The signing was done at the state Executive Council Chamber with Governor Olusegun Mimiko and his deputy, Alhaji Abdulazeez Oluboyo, in attendance.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko lauded the initiative, saying it has been on the table of past administrations in the state for many years without any positive development, therefore it is a landmark of sort to the economic development of Ondo State.
Expressing his administration’s commitment to seeing that bitumen exploration scale through, Mimiko said his administration commenced the process of acquiring new bitumen exploration licence covering larger prospecting areas and succeeded in securing four Bitumen Exploration Licenses in May, 2015 and has since been interfacing with Liquefied Resources Limited as technical and equity partner.
Mimiko, mentioned that bitumen is a potential area of economic expansion in the State while charging the company to start work immediately and do justice to the project. The Governor also gave assurances that host communities will cooperate in ensuring the success of this exploration.
The company’s president, Thomas Cooley, on his own part said they would do everything possible to ensure the realization of the project.
After Canada, Nigeria ranks second in the world as the country with the largest deposit of Bitumen. Its deposits are estimated to be about 42.74 billion metric tonnes.
Bitumen is primarily used to pave roads. It can be found in Ondo, Edo, Lagos and Ogun states. But the largest chunk of it is reportedly located in Agbabu in Ondo State.
It is a brown or black mixture of hydrocarbons, which is derived from petroleum. The consistency of bitumen varies from viscous to solid, and in its solid form, it is commonly known as asphalt.