Work has begun to clear the clogged pipe which contributed to a second eruption of the illegal well dug by a resident in Diamond Housing Scheme, Mitchell Prince, Senior Petroleum Technologist of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) says.
After the initial explosion on June 14th, the well was finally capped on July 26th, and the authorities were waiting for the cement to be properly cured before applying the finishing touches.
However, on Wednesday morning, around 1.30 am, the well erupted once more, sending a mixture of gas, sand, clay and water more than 50 feet into the air. Prince had explained that the pipe which was being used to control the flow of gas became compromised with clay and other materials, which eventually clogged it. After it was blocked, gas started to emit from various parts of the yard.
When Stabroek News visited the site yesterday, various parts of the yard were still emitting gas along with a mixture of water and mud. The GGMC has installed a pumping system to clear the yard of the mixture, while the pipe is being cleared, cleaned and prepared for reinstallation.
Speaking to this publication yesterday, Prince explained that they commenced the clearing of the pipe on Thursday.
“We have to watch at it and see what happens. It will be back to normal but before that we will try to see if we can concrete the entire yard because we realise that the bagasse has a serious problem,” Prince added, while stating that he is unable to give a date when the well will be fixed and returned to normalcy, as they will continue to actively monitor the situation.
Acting Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) Lt. Col. Kester Craig also confirmed that the GGMC had started works to rectify the situation.
Craig noted that he is finalising a report that will be sent to cabinet for deliberation.
“The next step is to decide what to do with the gas. Either you use it to provide electricity and get private investors to capture the gas or distribute it to the community. But the pressure of the gas is high. However, EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and GWI [Guyana Water Inc.] have tested it and it’s not harmful to the residents,” Craig added.
When the well erupted for the first time, it ejected natural gas, mud and water up to 100 feet in the air. Diamond resident Soownauth ‘Water Man’ Gorakh had reportedly dug the well some time ago and was using it for domestic purposes.
Gorakh had claimed, via a statement issued by the Region Four Administration that he and his wife, Tulabhaduree, had attempted to dig the well after experiencing water troubles. The woman has claimed that the family has suffered over $20 million in damages.
The Gorakhs’ immediate neighbours also suffered damage to varying degrees.