‘Diamond Gas’ could supply community with electricity, cooking gas

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By Devina Samaroo

The natural gas unearthed at the Diamond/Grove Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara could be used to supply the community electricity or cooking gas, officials say.

Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) Col. Kester Craig revealed that recommendations have been made for the Government to explore the possibility of utilizing the natural resource.

“One [recommendation] includes utilizing the gas for construction of a gas generator that can provide electricity in the area or have private investors invest in the gas and it could be supplied for cooking or other purposes,” Col. Craig told News Room in an interview Wednesday.

The coordinating committee set up to oversee the most recent gas eruption at Sixth Avenue, Diamond will forward the suggestions to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

The committee comprises agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) Col. Kester Craig revealed that recommendations have been made for the Government to explore the possibility of utilizing the natural resource.

Initial tests reveal there is a significant presence of methane gas at the location but samples have been sent for overseas testing to determine the exact quantity and potential of the resource.

On the evening of June 14, 2018, a volcanic-like eruption occurred in the backyard of a resident who was digging a domestic water well. This is the second time such an incident happened in the housing scheme, which was formerly a sugarcane plantation.

In the most recent incident, the well, which was recapped just two weeks ago, erupted again around 1:30am Wednesday.

Gas, mud and water, as well as small bricks, were flushing out of a valve as high as 50 ft. in the air.

Senior Petroleum Technologist, Mitchell Prince explained to News Room that sediments like rock and sand clogged the valve, causing a pressure build up as the gas was trying to escape.

He said the ideal mechanism would be similar to the one established at the house where a similar incident occurred back in 2009.

According to Mr Prince, a bigger tank may be required since the quantity of gas here is much greater than that discovered a decade ago.

He is currently awaiting approval from higher authorities on how to proceed, noting that if the contraption is left as is, there may be future eruptions when another buildup occurs.

The apparatus with the tanks would separate the sediments from the gas, so the substance can escape into the atmosphere without obstacles in its way.

Col. Craig noted that once that situation is brought under control, the Government may then review recommendations on what to do with the resource.

Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, who no longer has responsibility for the petroleum sector, had recently expressed an interest in exploring the possibilities in that housing scheme.

Meanwhile, the Civil Defence Commission is urging persons to desist from drilling wells in the area, especially without permits from the hydromet office.

The Director-General disclosed that authorities are currently reviewing the laws to determine if the homeowner who drilled the well can be sanctioned for doing so without the permission.

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