Before engaging the services of a water well drilling company, the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has recommended organizations and individuals to obtain professional geoscientists’ guidance on how to protect the surface environment.
Engaging them, according to the organisation, would go a long way toward preventing unethical drilling activities and their negative environmental consequences.
Dr. James Edet, President of NAPE, stated this at a press conference following a gas fire at Caritas University in Amorji-Nike, Enugu State, last week.
He said that the university, which hired borehole drillers, had hit a gas bed without realizing it, resulting in a large natural gas leak.
He claimed that the mishap occurred when boring extremely deep to reach the aquifer.
“These are risks.” Before drilling in a subsurface setting, you must engage professionals to size and survey the area,” he stated.
To avoid burns and other hazards associated with the sort of flare, he recommended the public to proceed with caution when visiting the location.
He explained that NAPE, through its experienced members, would need more data to figure out where the leak was coming from.
According to him, using the data, methods for preventing such instances can be proposed.
While praising the efforts of the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), among other government agencies, the organization offered certain public safety warnings in order to avoid a worsening of the situation.
Because the source of the leak has yet to be identified, Edet said the risk of the fire growing larger remains a possibility.
“Subsurface gas leaks necessitate specialized remediation techniques that differ from standard firefighting techniques. Drilling of any kind in the area should be stopped until the problem is resolved and the source is determined,” he said.
He stated that NAPE was on standby to provide professional help and guidance to relevant entities for thorough remediation operations while attempting to gather data.
Dr. Princeton Dim, the Awka-Owerri Chapter’s Co-ordinator, and other members who visited the site said the association was ready to provide technical and professional assistance to the relevant agencies to stop the continuous spilling of gas and water, which invariably poses a serious environmental threat to the community’s lives and property.