– 11 years after accidental methane find in backyard
Wouldn’t you want to have a lifetime of free cooking gas?
That’s what the Samaroo family seems to be enjoying after accidentally finding methane gas in their Grove, East Bank Demerara, backyard, some 11 years ago.
It all started in March 2009, when some residents of the still-developing Grove Housing Scheme were experiencing irregular supply of potable water.
One of these residents was Rajendra Samaroo, and he decided to hire an engineer to drill for water in his backyard.
Instead of water, the engineer hit a pocket of methane gas some 120 feet below the surface. The subsequent eruption sent a fountain of water and mud spewing over 40 feet into the air.
A team from GGMC’s Petroleum Department surveyed the area and did several tests. Samaroo is unaware what he does know is that GGMC set up two tanks, pipelines and valves which sent methane gas to his stove.
“There are two tanks. The one below has water and the one on top is empty so when you open the valve the gas passes through the water and go up to the top tank which is a vacuum. Now when you open the valve to cook the top tank becomes a vacuum and pushes gas. It cooks well. The pot doesn’t get ‘black pot’ and is easy for the wife,” he said during a 2010 interview.
Contacted yesterday, Mr. Samaroo said that his methane supply shows no sign of lessening.
Samaroo purchased his land for about $120,000 from the Ministry of Housing many years ago. While the real estate value of his land is appreciating, free methane gas is saving him roughly $84,000 annually.
In 2010, former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds had indicated that the State might attempt to acquire Samaroo’s land.
“The methane belongs to the State…it is not his (Samaroo’s) methane. It should be studied.”
He had suggested that the methane reserves could cover a substantial area in the Grove community and pointed out that it could also be unsafe for Samaroo and his family to remain in close proximity to the highly flammable gas.
Back then, Samaroo had indicated that he would be willing to relocate with his family if Government wanted to buy his methane-rich property.
“You can say we have a gold mine but remember we just have a transport for the land but the land belongs to the state. When you die only six feet you get. I will be glad to relocate,” he said.
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