Enugu gas fire will be difficult to put off, it’s a huge gas reserve – Experts

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Experts in the oil and gas industry have said the gas fire at Caritas University, Amorji Nike, Enugu will be difficult to stop.

The experts said this is because the gas is emitting from a very huge Gas reserve very close to the earth’s surface.

Engr. Alex Neyin, Chief Executive Officer of Gacmork Nigeria Limited and former Operations Manager at Chevron Oil Company Nigeria, told EnergyDay in an interview that the Government may find it difficult to stop the gas explosion from the underground reservoir.

He added that the site could be a shallow gas zone.

Neyin also suggested that another well be dug to serve as a channel through which the escaping gas could be stopped.

He said: “That, I guess, was a shallow gas zone. The earth’s structure is such that a shallow patch (which is very big ), based on faulting and folding, could be thrown up. And when you go in there to drill a well, you hit the reservoir, about 1,000 feet beneath the earth. Once you hit it, you find gas.

“But then, it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to stop the gas because it wasn’t a regular well that was being drilled.

“The only way they can stop the flow of the gas is probably to dig a relief well through which they can pump heavy-weight mud into it. But 1,000 feet is very shallow. This is going to be very difficult to stop because it is a very big gas reservoir,” Neyin said.

Neyin, while stating that the Federal Government did not envisage such a scenario, advised it to conduct a survey on the land so as to understand its composites better.

“The drillers who went there in search of water didn’t expect it, nor did anyone else.

He, therefore, urged the FG to compel the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) to visit the site and mark it as a gas reserve. He noted that this discovery shows that Nigeria has endless volumes and reservoirs of gas.

“The Federal Government data does not put a situation like this into consideration. They weren’t expecting such. All they were focused on was what they described as a “frontier area” – a place they deliberately chose for exploration. This one at Enugu is accidental and it’s going to be very difficult for the Federal Government to put out the fire because it is very shallow.

“A similar incident of this magnitude happened in the U.S, around Oklahoma. If you go 2,000 feet down the earth. One may be lucky to see a gas reservoir.

“The Emene case is the first. It is going to take everyone by surprise because it will be difficult to tackle”.

Professor Nuhu Obaje, Director, Center for Applied Sciences and Technology Research (CASTER), also noted that it could be a case of a shallow gas zone.

He said that the discovery is not completely strange as Nigeria already has places where even crude oils and other hydrocarbon types are mined from the surface or near-surface.

He explained that the gas may have leaked from a different source to the site where it was found in Enugu.

“The gas could also have leaked from a deep-seated reservoir and found its way into a near-surface reservoir. It could also be a biogenic gas.

“This is similar to what we are studying in the Bida Basin (Kudu shales sipping out oil at shallow depth, exhumed dip section),” he said.