Enugu Underground Fire Sign of Shallow Gas from Coal Bed – FG – The Sun Nigeria

From Uche Usim, Abuja

The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Petroleum Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, revealed on Friday that the underground fire at Caritas University, Enugu, hinted at the presence of shallow gas which may be associated with methane from coal. or gas leak.

He added that in either case, the inferno cannot necessarily come from a reservoir buildup but from an associated gas to which the drilling process has provided a flow line; a development similar to incidents associated with coal mines.

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Komolafe said so in a statement he personally signed on Friday.

According to him, the Commission confirmed that there is no pipeline right-of-way in the area and that the incident was caused by the activities of some contractors who were drilling a water borehole in the premises of the University.

“One of the workers who suspected the fumes to be gas seepage reportedly wanted to confirm his suspicions and in doing so introduced a source of ignition which started the fire. It was this unfortunate action which provided a more solid basis for the qualification of fumes as an associated gas.

“After the fire, the drilling contractor promptly removed the drill rods, demobilized the rig and immediately notified the Enugu State Government of the incident. State and federal governments, mobilized to the site, fought the fire for more than two days.

“The university authority cordoned off the site and restricted access to the area; and ordered an immediate halt to the use of all facilities in the affected area, including a nearby room used for exams.

“NUPRC representatives, in conjunction with officials from NORSDRA, NMDPRA, NNPC, NCDSC and other related law enforcement agencies, conducted site visits on 27 and 31 May 2022 respectively for a preliminary investigation in order to determine the status and also to better understand the cause to determine the immediate safety and geotechnical measures necessary to extinguish the fire and prevent loss of life, property and damage to the environment,” he said. he explains.

Komolafe further disclosed that plans are being finalized by Caritas University to carry out a geophysical resistivity survey of the area on June 3-4, 2022 to acquire data that will give better insight into the gas concentration. near the surface in the area and its potential spread.

“Furthermore, a comprehensive stakeholder engagement took place in Enugu on June 1, 2022 for alignment deliberations and mutual commitment to achieve the immediate extinguishment of the fire and stoppage of the gas leak. .

“The NUPRC is proactively working with all relevant stakeholders and is committed to deploying the appropriate technology to ensure the fire is extinguished and the source of the gas leak is sealed to ensure environmental sustainability and the safety of lives and property.

“Already, the Commission has identified a local company with verified competence and proven experience in the management of related fires; and response options are considered. This will be finalized after another visit scheduled for June 6, 2022,” he added.

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