Two weeks after an underground gas pocket exploded at a residence in Diamond, East Bank Demerara, the intense cleaning-up exercise is still ongoing, while officials at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) are making preparations for the construction of an apparatus to cap the methane gas that was detected.
“If everything goes according to plan then we could be looking at perhaps another week or so to make sure that the site is clear enough for us to get access to do the operational works that were intended. But you know the weather has to be also cooperative,” Commissioner of GGMC, Newell Dennison told this media group on Sunday.
He explained that the Commission will have to await the completion of the clean-up exercise for an assessment to be done before work can commence on the construction of the contraption apparatus.
“It is intended that we will construct an apparatus, we will construct the conductor casings that we would want to put into the vent; those things will have to be constructed. But I wouldn’t want to preempt what it is exactly that would have to be done because there might be modifications of what is intended and what we observe, after the full clean-up and actually get a good look at the orifice that has been presented to us,” Dennison said.
Previously, GGMC’s Senior Petroleum Technologist, Mitchell Prince, had explained in a briefing with the Ministry of the Presidency that the plan is to run two sizes of casings into the orifice to seal it off. He noted that they are going to be using an 18-inch casing on the outside and a four inch diameter casing on the inside, then seal around it with concrete and build a valve at the top.
The GGMC Commissioner noted that the cleaning exercise is expected to be wrapped up in a week’s time, the construction and installation of the apparatus will take another two to three weeks to be completed.
Questioned about the financing of these works, Commissioner Dennison disclosed that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has made certain materials available to be used for the construction of the apparatus while GGMC will be making provisions for the additional works. He opted not to preempt the cost, saying that “it might be a moving target.”
At about 18:00h on June 15, construction workers were drilling a well at the Lot 1200 Section ‘A’ Block ‘X’, Great Diamond, residence (between Sixth and Fifth Avenue) when they hit a natural gas pocket causing an immediate explosion, which lasted the entire night with fluctuating eruptions, as high as 30 feet, of various substances including soot.
Local stakeholder agencies had since come together to monitor the situation and tests conducted found traces of Methane gas at the location.
According to officials, the gas emanating is does not pose any threat to surrounding neighbours and as such, a safe zone was established in the area.