NIGERIA - Exploration History.It was in 1908 that a German company, Nigerian Bitumen bitumen (bĭty`mən) a generic term referring to flammable, brown or black mixtures of tarlike hydrocarbons, derived naturally or by distillation from petroleum. Corp., began exploring for oil in Nigeria. It operated in the Araromi area, of the present Ondo State Ondo State, Nigeria was created on 3 February 1976 from the former Western State. It originally included what is now Ekiti State, which was split off in 1996. Akure is the state capital. , 200 km east of Lagos. The company abandoned its dry, shallow wells there at the start of World War I in 1914. In 1936, Shell D'Arcy was granted sole rights to explore for hydrocarbons hydrocarbons (hīˈ·drō·kärˑ·bnz),
n. all over Nigeria and prospecting began in 1937. Shell's activities were interrupted in·ter·rupt
v. in·ter·rupt·ed, in·ter·rupt·ing, in·ter·rupts
1. To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.
2. by World War II.
Less than two years after World War II ended, Shell in 1947 teamed up with British Petroleum to form a Shell-BP unit in Nigeria. The group discovered oil in 1956 at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta The Niger Delta, the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria, is a densely populated region sometimes called the Oil Rivers because it was once a major producer of palm oil. , and production began in 1958 at the rate of 5,100 b/d which was mostly exported. The group realised later that pay zones lay below 1,500 metres. As Nigeria gained independence in 1960, a new government in Lagos limited the group's concession area and invited other companies to explore for oil (see background in Vol. 57, Gas Market Trends No. 5).