Diamond natural gas explosionWhile officials were expecting to finish clearing up the surroundings to cap the gas pocket that exploded last month when a Diamond, East Bank Demerara, resident was drilling a well in his backyard, they have stumbled upon several obstacles that have prevented them from completing the task within the three-week timeframe initially set.“We started the clean-up exercise and in process, we realised that a portion of the [collapsed] water trestle had fallen into the crater, as well the derelict from the driller is down there. So for us to run the pipes, we have to remove those obstacles. At the moment, we have an excavator, which is waiting there to try to extract that,” Senior Petroleum Technologist attached to Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC)Workers preparing to pump out the slush from the area surrounding the crater on WednesdayMitchell Prince told the Guyana Times on Wednesday.However, he explained that before they can go ahead with installing the materials to cap the crater, they will now have to clear the area of the remaining slush. At the site on Wednesday, workers assembled several pipelines, which they will use to pump out the slush from the area surrounding the crater onto a nearby empty lot.Moreover, Prince added that there were also delays in sourcing the appropriate equipment to carry out the work.“Due to some delays in acquiring the specialised equipment – we had to get a long boom excavator because a short boom couldn’t work – and also the integrity of the area, we cannot guarantee so have to get it working in a safe area,” he noted. Nevertheless, the Senior Petroleum Technologist asserted that they are looking at another “two weeks or so” to cap the breached gas pocket.Initially, there were plans to construct a contraption apparatus similar to the one that was installed a short distance away over the Grove section of the scheme where there was also an eruption about a decade ago. A metal tank was constructed to trap the gas, which the family now uses for domestic purposes. At this most recent incident, authorities have also detected traces of methane gas.However, Prince could not say whether the same will be done here. “At this point in time, I cannot answer that question; it is left to my superiors… We are gonna be putting in the pipe there and a valve system. It will be similar [to the existing on in Grove] to some extent, however, we have not planned putting a tank,” he stated.Just over a week ago, GGMC’s Commissioner, Newell Dennison, told the Guyana Times that they will have to await the completion of the clean-up exercise for an assessment to be done on the crater before commencing works on the apparatus.“It is intended that we will construct an apparatus, we will construct the conductor casingsThe metal tank that was constructed at the Grove residence following the 2009 gas eruptionthat we would want to put into the vent; those things will have to be constructed. But I wouldn’t want to preempt what it is exactly that would have to be done because there might be modifications of what is intended and what we observe, after the full clean-up and actually get a good look at the orifice that has been presented to us,” Dennison has explained.At about 18:00h on June 14, construction workers were drilling a well at the Lot 1200 Section ‘A’ Block ‘X’, Great Diamond, residence (between Sixth and Fifth Avenue) when they hit a natural gas pocket causing an immediate explosion, with fluctuating eruptions as high as 30 feet which lasted the entire night.Local stakeholder agencies have since come together to monitor the situation. According to officials, the gas emanating does not pose any threat to surrounding neighbours and as such, a safe zone was established in the area.