The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society has confirmed the presence of a gas reservoir in Amorji Nike, Enugu State, and has advised on how to put a stop to the ongoing fire caused by the activities of drillers.
In a communiqué signed by the society’s President, Alabo Charlesye, it ruled out the occurrence of punctured gas pipes in the area.
It said a team of professionals from the NMGS had investigated the gas emission and flare encountered during the drilling of the water borehole at the site.
According to the release, the group said to extinguish the flare and save the ecosystem and environment from negative impact, a high-density cement slurry or drilling mud should be forcefully re-injected into the borehole at high pressure to snuff off the oxygen supply and kill the fire.
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It said drilling a relief well to kill the pressure and kill the flare might not be feasible because the subsurface geology and structure of the area are not understood.
Explaining further, it said detailed geological and geophysical studies should be carried out in the area and environs to help unravel the subsurface structure, stratigraphy and hydrocarbon prospects of the area and by extension of the southern Benue Trough and Anambra Basin.
“If the gas resource in the area is found to be substantial, the federal government and Enugu State Government should develop a framework to harness the gas resources to enhance industrialisation and job creation for the benefit of the state and the nation”, it said.
The group, therefore, advised relevant authorities to liaise with experts in the management of blowouts and flares in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria on the best method to be deployed in extinguishing the flare.
It said, “Professional bodies like the NMGS with highly experienced and well-trained geoscientists should be involved in efforts by agencies of government and other organisations to find solutions to this hazard and further investigate the gas resources of the area.
“Future deep borehole drilling in areas generally underlain by shales, irrespective of drilling history should employ rotary drilling method using appropriate drilling mud to limit the effect of blowouts since drilling mud helps maintain pressure balance in wells.”
The gas inferno was reported to have begun on 25th of May.