Diamond gas well: Site unsafe for human habitation, GGMC should take over- Report

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…Police to arrest driller of the ‘illegal’ well

Aerial view of the well during the natural gas eruption at Diamond

The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) in collaboration with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) with support from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure have successfully completed re-capping the gas well at Sixth Street, Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara.

This was disclosed in a report submitted on August 23, 2018, to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

According to the report, the methane gas from the well is now flowing freely and safely into the atmosphere, a release from the Department of Public Information (DPI) said.

The report outlines a number of follow-up actions to be taken by various agencies which are critical to managing the natural environment and to deter future illegal practices of a similar nature.

The property is deemed ‘unstable’ for human habitation and the Ministry of Communities along with the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) must now formally inform the owner that the property must not be used.

According to the DPI, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), GWI and the Hydrometeorological Office are tasked with determining the suitable legal action to be taken against the owner of the property Soownauth Gokakh, who admitted to digging a domestic well which erupted causing massive damage, not only to his property but, to neighbouring houses.

Moreover, it was outlined that a public awareness campaign is forthcoming to sensitise Guyanese on the dangers of drilling on the Coastland.

This will be a joint undertaking by the CDC, DPI, Ministry of the Presidency Press and Publicity Unit, Hydrometeorological Office and the GGMC.

The gases are expected to be trapped using a mud gas separator and put to productive uses.

This responsibility has been designated to the GGMC, which will also conduct a quantitative assessment of the gas reservoir to determine the next steps in the use of the resource.

The site, the report stated, should be handed over to the GGMC, the local experts in gas well management.

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) is tasked with locating and arresting the driller of the well.

According to the DPI, the report recommends amendments to the Water and Sewage Act so that governing practices reflect reasonable charges for defaulting citizens. The Ministry of Communities and Legal Affairs along with GWI are to address same.

In addition, the owners of damaged and affected properties at Lot 1199, Gail Williams and Lot 1188, June Chase are advised to file civil proceedings in the courts against the owner of the property at Lot 1200.

The aftermath of the first eruption

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.

Approximately two months after a cap had been placed on the gas pocket, a second eruption was experienced.

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