Contrary to claims that oil has been found in a hand-dug well in Jumbo, near Kpasa in the Nkwanta North District, preliminary investigations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest otherwise.
The leader of the EPA team which visited the site, Togbe Ahorni II, mentioned that the substance found in the hand-dug well in one Kofi Gyato�s house was refined fuel, more likely to be diesel and not crude.
He disclosed this to DAILY GUIDE in Jumbo on Sunday during the agency�s preliminary investigations of the oil find.
Togbe Ahorni, who is the Volta Regional Officer of the EPA, explained that the initial composition of the substance and other investigations suggested that the oil�s base was not underground but rather a bi-product of leaked fuel from a higher elevation within the vicinity.
�This is not crude oil, it is a leaked refined oil�it looks more diesel than petrol let alone crude� this is based on our preliminary investigations.�
This latest finding seems to contradict the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation�s (GNPC) confirmation that the substance was crude oil, but yet to be fully tested.
The GNPC also noted that the discovery suggested that there could be an underground reservoir of the substance and it was only further studies that would confirm.
It also noted that the discovery was a unique one because the substance collected looked more refined than any crude oil discovered in any part of the world.
However, the Volta Regional EPA boss, who was with two of his lieutenants when he made the disclosure, emphasized, �This is not to dampen the hopes of the people and the entire country, but to rather make us manage our expectations.�
That notwithstanding, he called for more investigations into the said oil find to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the EPA�s initial findings.
�The elevation of other boreholes sited in the area as compared to the �mystery well� containing the substance suggests that the base of the oil is not from underground.
Especially when those bore holes are about 60 to 80 meters deep without any oil; while the mystery well, which is just about 2.9 meters deep, has the substance believed to be crude oil. More so, the KVIP toilet facility of the Jumbo No. 1 L/A Primary School is a stone throw away from the well.�
Furthermore, the site of the China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation (CJIC), contractors of the Nkwanta-Oti-Damanko stretch on the Eastern Corridor located a few meters away from the mystery well, is another factor.
The EPA explained that the elevation of the fuel tank of the Chinese company was slightly higher than the hand-dug well. As a result, any leakage of the tank containing the fuel could easily flow by gravity to the direction of the mystery well, especially when workers at the site confirmed to the EPA that their biggest tank was previously underground before it was recently exhumed and sited above ground due to the fact that water was entering it.
Based on this revelation, the EPA said it was most likely that water, which was denser than oil or fuel, would overflow and displace the fuel from the tank, seeping through the soil.
A similar situation could be said about an abandoned indigenous fuel outlet popularly called �Gawgaw fuel outlets�, directly opposite the site of the Chinese construction firm and closer to the mystery well.
The fuel outlet is also said to have buried its fuel tanks and other barrels during operation until it closed down about six years ago.
The EPA team went round the Jumbo area to collect samples from the boreholes, the Jumbo River and made other studies in the area to inform its position on the oil.
Source: From Fred Duodu, Jumbo
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