After oil well fire, OIL’s production hit by ‘agitation’

A massive fire that broke out from the oil well at Baghjan on June 9 was still raging as natural gas was being fed by the well’s oil.

Published: 13th June 2020 09:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2020 09:35 PM   |  A+A-

The gas well blowout site in Tinsukia district (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The production of Oil India Limited (OIL) has been badly hit by the agitation by people and organisations against the incident of fire at an oil well in Assam’s Tinsukia district.

“Due to agitation programs, there was production loss of 500 MT of Crude Oil from 23 nos. of oil wells and 0.46 MMSCM of Natural Gas from 3 nos. of gas wells as reported on 12-06-2020,” the OIL said in a statement on Saturday.

A massive fire that broke out from the oil well at Baghjan on June 9 was still raging as natural gas was being fed by the well’s oil. The fire was caused by a blowout – or uncontrolled emission of natural gas – that occurred on May 27.

Experts from OIL, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGCL) and Singapore-based firm M/s Alert visited the site on Saturday.

“Preliminary work of arranging facilities for well control operation began. Two numbers of high discharge water pumps have been placed at site. Testing and commissioning of these pumps are planned for today after completion of connection of suction and delivery lines. Filling of water in CMT reservoir (3000KL) from Dangori River is in progress. All Equipment and other materials from ONGC-Sivasagar yard reached Duliajan and unloading of same at OIL’s CMT yard is in progress for inspection by Experts from M/s Alert,” the statement said.

The incident has left a trail of devastation in areas surrounding the well. A number of houses were reduced to ashes. Two firefighters of the OIL had also lost their lives. Wildlife activists and environmentalists feared that the emission of natural gas and the resultant fire had severely damaged flora and fauna of the area.

A famous beel (or billabong) is adjacent to the site of fire. The ecologically-fragile Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, which is known for its feral horses, is less than two km away.

The fire displaced 7,000 people and they are taking shelter in relief camps. The Petroleum Ministry, Assam government and OIL have already ordered separate probes into the incident.

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