The Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MOPI) has commenced the clean-up exercise at the residence at Fifth and Sixth Avenue, Diamond, East Bank Demerara, where a resident of the community had dug a well, resulting in an eruption of mud, water, methane gas and damage to several homes in the area.
The clean-up works, which are expected to last for approximately two days are being undertaken in an effort to give access to the Guyana and Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) teams, who will be working to recap the well.
Lieutenant Latchman Persaud of the National Emergency Operations System, Civil Defence Commission (CDC), who is overseeing the clean-up efforts, said that it is expected that the recapping works can commence on Monday. These works are expected to last between two to three weeks. He noted that all materials have already been procured and are on the ground.
Mitchell Prince, Senior Petroleum Analyst at the GGMC, said that the plan is to run two sizes of casings into the ground where the well has been dug. “It is the reverse of drilling a well. The hole is already there, it is now to put the casings in and seal it off. We are going to use 18 inch casings on the outside and 14 inch diameter casings on the inside. This would be sealed around with concrete and there will be a valve. During the process of construction, the valve will be left opened in order to vent and release the pressures. When you are finished sealing up then you can close the valve,” he said.
The gas detection within the area remains low and has been constrained within the property and as such, a safe zone has been established.
Meanwhile, Director General of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Craig, said that the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) has agreed to assist the affected neighbours in their clean-up efforts.
The Commission is also reminding persons that permits must be obtained from the Hydro meteorological office to conduct such drillings.
“If you are drilling wells you must receive permits from Hydro-meteorological Office because you can have situations like this that threaten your life, your neighbours’ lives and other people around you. You have to be careful and follow the rules. If you don’t you are going to put people’s lives at jeopardy,” Colonel Craig said.