Assam gas well 'killed', fire fully doused after over five months

The worst industrial disaster of the Northeast took away the lives of three employees of the PSU major and injured several others.

Published: 15th November 2020 09:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2020 11:05 PM   |  A+A-

Assam OIL well fire

File photo of NDRF personnel participating in a rescue operation at the site (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Well No 5 at the Baghjan Oil Field in Assam’s Tinsukia district was “killed” on Sunday by the experts, 173 days since a “blowout” (or uncontrolled emission of natural gas ) occurred at the site which was followed by a massive fire.

Oil exploration major Oil India Limited (OIL) tweeted: “Baghjan blowout well successfully killed: The well has been killed with brine solution & under control now. The fire has been doused completely...”

The OIL also wrote that there was no pressure in the well now and that the situation would be monitored for 24 hours to check gas migration and pressure build-up.

A team of experts injected artificial mud at high pressure during the “snubbing” operation to kill the well. The operation was led by eight foreign experts and they were aided by the OIL’s crisis management team. The OIL had flown in 60 tonnes of equipment from Canada’s Calgary by an Antonov An-24 recently to “kill” the well.

There is no pressure in the well now and it will be under observation over the next 24 hours to check if there is any amount of gas migration and pressure build-up, he added.

"Further operation to abandon the well is in progress," Hazarika said, adding that experts from Singaporean firm Alert Disaster Control were actively engaged in the final operation to control the well.

The company's Director (Exploration and Development) P Chandrasekaran, Director (Operations) PK Goswami and Resident Chief Executive DK Das visited the well site following the successful killing operation after 172 days of the blowout and held detailed discussions with the experts from Alert.

The well no 5 at Baghjan in the Tinsukia district was spewing gas uncontrollably since May 27 and it caught fire on June 9, killing two of OIL's firefighters at the site.

The well’s length from the surface to the “payzone” or gas reserve underground was around 3.5 km. The OIL has over 20 such wells at the Baghjan Oilfield.

The blowout and resultant inferno had displaced over 2,500 locals. They have been lodged at relief camps ever since the disaster. The site adjoins the ecologically-fragile Dibru-Saikhowa National Park which is known for its feral horses.

(With agency inputs)


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