Diamond natural gas explosion: Deadline for capping crater extended

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The three-week time line which was set for capping the makeshift well, that led to a natural gas explosion, in Diamond, East Bank Demerara has been shifted further after officials responsible have encountered several obstacles.

Workers preparing to pump out the slush from the area surrounding the crater

Senior Petroleum Technologist attached to Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Mitchell Prince told this media group on Wednesday that “We started the clean-up exercise and in the process, we realised that a portion of the [collapsed] water trestle had fallen into the crater, as well the derelict from the driller is down there. So for us to run the pipes, we have to remove those obstacles. At the moment, we have an excavator, which is waiting there to try to extract that.”

However, he explained that before they can go ahead with installing the materials to cap the crater, they will now have to clear the area of the remaining slush. At the site on Wednesday, workers assembled several pipelines, which they will use to pump out the slush from the area surrounding the crater onto a nearby empty lot.

Moreover, Prince added that there were also delays in sourcing the appropriate equipment to carry out the work.

Initially, there were plans to construct a contraption apparatus similar to the one that was installed a short distance away over the Grove section of the scheme where there was also an eruption about a decade ago.

A metal tank was constructed to trap the gas, which the family now uses for domestic purposes. At this most recent incident, authorities have also detected traces of methane gas.

However, Prince could not say whether the same will be done here. “At this point in time, I cannot answer that question; it is left to my superiors… We are gonna be putting in the pipe there and a valve system. It will be similar [to the existing on in Grove] to some extent, however, we have not planned putting a tank,” he stated.

At about 18:00h on June 14, 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, with fluctuating eruptions as high as 30 feet which lasted the entire night.

Local stakeholder agencies have since come together to monitor the situation. According to officials, the gas emanating does not pose any threat to surrounding neighbours and as such, a safe zone was established in the area.

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