$15M to recap Diamond ‘gas well’

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By Devina Samaroo

An estimated $15 million is likely to be expended to develop the mechanism to trap the natural gas that is emanating from a Well, which exploded at Sixth Avenue, Diamond/Grove New Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD) recently.

A team of roughly 12 workmen have been on site every day for the past three weeks, working tirelessly to stop a highly flammable gas from escaping into the atmosphere.

Mitchell Prince, a senior Petroleum Technologist at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), is leading the project, which he estimates will cost more than $15 million.

Mitchell Prince, Senior Petroleum Technologist attached to the GGMC

When News Room visited the site Wednesday morning, most of the slush and debris have been removed, and pipes have been installed in the orifice as a channel for the natural gas.

The pipes all connect to one main valve which will control the flow of the gas into the atmosphere.

Mr Prince explained that upon completion, the valve will be shut off so that the gas will be trapped underground.

The workmen are in the process of sand-filling after which they will plaster the surface with cement.

Mr Prince could not estimate how long it will take for his team to complete the project as there are many challenges in the execution of the project.

“We had problems with rain and also with acquiring the special equipment to work here because this environment is much different to the first one [where a similar well eruption occurred at Second Bridge, Grove]. We had a road on one side and an empty lot on the next side.

Workmen are currently sand-filling the hole

“But in this case, we have houses on both side and even at the back, and there are no proper drains in the area, nothing is moving so you have to dig pits and dump your stuff there,” he explained.

On the evening of June 14, 2018, a volcanic-like eruption occurred at a residence in the housing scheme, which was formerly a sugarcane plantation.

Homeowner, Sownauth Gorukh was digging a domestic well when a gas pocket was struck, causing a huge explosion of rocks and slush as high as 30 feet in the air.

The well had spewed a foundation of muddy water and rocks about 30 feet in the air, causing massive destruction to the owner’s and two nearby properties.

Tests conducted by regional gas distributor Massy and US oil giant ExxonMobil found that there are small quantities of methane gas.

This is the second time such an incident occurred in the housing scheme, raising questions of the exact quantity of natural gas below the surface in that region.

In the first instance that occurred in 2009, there was a heavy presence of natural gas at the house. In fact, the family living there is still accessing natural gas, which they have been using to satisfy their cooking purposes.

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