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Varsity Gas Fire: FG To Conduct Hydrocarbon Exploration In Enugu

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has said it will partner with stakeholders in the industry to purchase advanced seismic data to explore the type and quantity of hydrocarbon available in Enugu area.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe made this known on Wednesday during a briefing at the Caritas University, where there was a fire outbreak owing to a fire and gas emission on May 22, 2022.

NUPRC Owerri Zonal Coordinator, Enorense Amadasu, who represented Komolafe at the conference, gas and fire emission site, said investigation has shown that there is no evidence of any oil and gas production or pipeline in the site.

Suspecting that the area may bear some hydrocarbon deposit, he said: “From this result the commission is putting a mechanism in place to work with stakeholders to see how they can now come to acquire further seismic data that will further enable us to know exactly what kind of hydrocarbon or volume of hydrocarbon is in this aspect (Enugu) of the country.”

He added the situation was being investigated and there is a school of thought that says the gas that came on below the tin belt across the Enugu region that forms some deposits of shallow gas came to the surface which was eventually ignited.

According to him, depending on the volume of gas if that postulation is correct, it means with time, the gas would eventually go.

Komolafe pledged: “However, as I have said before we still have to get some data interpretation and able to ascertain the position of hydrocarbon in the area.”

Leading the field visit to the gas flare site, Welltest Solutions Limited, Director, Engr. Marcel Ahaneku that has been in the oil industry for 31 years, certified the site safe and secure for human activities.

Responding to the question whether the place was safe for human activities in the university, he said the place is 100% safe.

He noted: “We have used all industrial practice to secure this well. This place is passable. The environment is okay.
“We can put some tension slab so that some vehicles can run on it.

“But we left it open for historic activities. But the answer to your question is that the place is free for activities and passable.

“But if someone wants to do something we have to put a high tension slab if a vehicle has to pass there. But for human activities around the university, the place is 100% safe.”

Caritas University, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Orji noted the invitation to press and stakeholders was for them to have a first hand information about the incident.

According to him, the gas emitted from a borehole the university was digging for water.

The Fire Service personnel came while the fire raged, he said, stressing NUPRC, relevant agencies and Governor Ifeanyi Uguanyi came to inspect the fire.

He noted that while the university’s Governing Council and stakeholders were still meeting on how to extinguish the fire, when it went off on its own.

“The light went off miraculously. The light went off after we had all tried what we can… On our own we know that Jesus handled this issue for us because he was in control.

“Another thing I want to emphasis is that throughout this incident we never had any fatality. When the fire went off the gas also went off,” said while insisting that the varsity is now safe.

Enugu Commissioner for Works, Engr. Greg Nnaji said the concerned agency was always at the site while the inferno raged.

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