Natural gas fire explosion in Enugu goes off 21 days after multiple failed attempts


Solomon Ezeme


After 21 days of defying all odds, including interventions from the State Government, the fire services and Federal agencies to put off the gas-triggered fire at Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu State, which began on May 25 2022, the fire has eventually quenched by itself on Wednesday June 15, this is according to the school Management.



Recall that EnergyDay broke the news about the inferno after a quick alarm raised by one Mr. Okenyi Kenechi, that a gas site had been discovered at Amorji-Nike, Enugu while the school attempted to dig a bore hole for water. The NUPRC, after going through the publication, requested that the Authority of the school conduct a survey on the site to understand its composites.


Professor Micheal Orji, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Caritas University Enugu, while speaking to newsmen on Thursday, made this known.


He said no casualty was recorded throughout the 21-day period of the inferno which occurred in the premises of the tertiary institution.


Orji said “all attempts failed” after several meetings were held between Management of Caritas, various agencies of government and even professionals contracted by the school to put off the fire, as the fire continued to rage since May 25.


“But it is worthy of note that on our part the light went off on its own after several efforts to put it off,” he said.


“A very important point to note is that throughout these 21 days the fire kept burning the tie. There was no causality of any sort as no one was hurt or injured. Also when the fire went off the gas also stopped emitting at the same time,” Orji added.


Stakeholders in the country’s oil and gas industry had earlier described the gas discovery as first-of-its-kind in Nigeria, noting that the gas may be difficult to stop.

The fire had erupted while some borehole drillers hired by Management of Caritas University were digging into the soil for water. The contractors suddenly struck a gas reservoir which unleashed its content, believed to be methane gas.

According to a press statement later issued by NOSDRA hours after, the National Emergency Management Agency, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), the Federal and State Fire Services were immediately informed of the incident.

Mr. Kenechi, who had chatted with an EnergyDay correspondent, said that an official of the DPR claimed that about 5.7 million cubic feet of methane was found at the site.


Also, Danny Iwuchukwu, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Enugu State Command, according to EnergyDay’s report, confirmed the incident and stated that no pipeline passed through the area, suggesting that it was a gas site.

Engr. Alex Neyin, Chief Executive Officer of Gacmork Nigeria Limited and former Operations Manager at Chevron Oil Company Nigeria, who also spoke with EnergyDay during the period, had advised the Federal Government to conduct a survey on the land so as to better understand its composites.


He stated that Nigeria has endless volume and gas reservoirs as he recommended that the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) should go and mark that place.


He had also noted that the Government may find it difficult to stop the gas from wasting as it is a shallow gas zone.

He had recommended that heavy-weight mud be pumped into the gas well through a newly dug well which would serve as a channel to stop the escaping gas.


“This is going to be very difficult to stop because it is a very big gas reservoir,” he had said in May.