Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) has said that relevant authorities and experts must synergies to arrive at the best method for the management of blowouts and flares in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
The report was gotten after a team of professionals carried out an investigation into the gas emission and flare encountered during the drilling of a water borehole at Caritas University Amorji Nike, Emene Enugu, Enugu State.
The President of the NMGS, Alabo Charlesye David Charles stressed that there was an urgent need to extinguish the flare and save the ecosystem and environment from its negative impact.
He explained that the team had interacted with the drillers, the members of the community and other stakeholders and also had an immediate impression of the geology and geomorphology of the area.
Charles said that the team had submitted its report and the NMGS presents a summary of the findings which was suspected that the well penetrated a fracture/fault zone which served as a conduit or migration pathway for hydrocarbon (gas) generated in the deeper buried mature shales of the Nkporo/Enugu, Awgu and Eze-Aku geological formations.
He pointed out that the initial speculation that the flare was methane gas from fracking of the mature and fractured Nkporo/Enugu Formation is discountenanced due to the sustained flare that has maintained its intensity for over 7 days.
“There is an urgent need to extinguish the flare and save the ecosystem and environment from its negative impact disclosing that this could be done by injecting a high-density cement slurry or drilling mud which would be forcefully reinjected into the borehole at high pressure to snuff off the oxygen supply and kill the fire.
“Drilling a relief well to kill the pressure and kill the flare may not be feasible because the subsurface geology and structure of the area are not understood.
“Relevant authorities should liaise with experts in the management of blowout and flares in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria on the best method to be deployed in extinguishing the flare.
“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.
“Professional bodies like the NMGS with highly experienced and well-trained geoscientists should be involved in efforts by agencies of government and other organizations to find solutions to this hazard and further investigate the gas resources of the area.
“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 industrialization and job creation for the benefit of the state and the nation,” he said