There may be up to about 750 million barrels of oil and gas yet to be discovered in the Dahomey Basin, a team of seasoned petroleum geologists have found from a research.

The Dahomey Basin, underlie the coastal plains of South-west Nigeria, Benin and Togo, where oil and gas exploration has significantly increased over the years.

The research carried out by a team of Nigerian geologists led led by Prof Samuel O. Akande of the University of Ilorin, also found that the high presence of features such as source rocks and other organic contents are strong signs of hydrocarbon presence in Kano.

A source rock, otherwise called the mother source of oil is usually dark in colour and is the nucleus of the petroleum system as there cannot be petroleum or gas without a source rock.

Presenting the highlights of the research at the close-out seminar of the Annual Oil and Gas Research Grant Competition held in Abuja, recently, Prof Akande said he commenced the research 31 years ago traversing the entire Nigerian region looking for hydrocarbon and petroleum source rocks.

He said when the PTDF began the phased sponsorship of the project in 2008 We were taking traverses across the main Benue trough, running through Ashaka, Bajoga, Gombe area, through Yola looking at these source rocks and their potential.

We went through the middle Benue, the central Benue area; southern Benue-Enugu Abakaliki axis. We came in through Dahomey Basin looking for source rocks

He said the report of the first phase of the sponsored research was presented in 2010 detailing the most promising intervals not only in southern Nigeria but in most recently northern Nigeria (Kano) which have prospects of these source rocks with oil and gas assemblages possible in them.

Considering the volume of such rocks in the Dahomey Basin and overlapping the outward area of the Niger Delta, we may be still having up to about 750 million barrels of oil and gas in the Dahomey Basin yet to be discovered and that is quite significant to us and interestingly when you compare these basins we now have key indicators. The professor who bagged his PhD 33 years ago said.

With the recent award of a rig contract by Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited to Saipem to carry out the drilling and completion programme for the Aje shallow-water field offshore Lagos, the first oil production around the Dahomey Basin is expected to begin by December this year.

Aje is an offshore field located in the western part of Nigeria in the Dahomey Basin at the border with Benin Republic.