Natural gas continues to flow uncontrollably after the blowout at Oil India’s Baghjan Oilfield in Tinsukia district, Assam.
An OIL statement said that attempts are still being made, over a week after the blowout was first reported, to contain the outburst. Singapore-based firm Alert Disaster Control is being mobilised which is expected to reach the site shortly.
Detailing what caused the blowout, OIL said, “In Baghjan well No.5, the well was taken for workover operation to plug back the existing producing sand and re-complete in the higher-up. Accordingly, the well was killed (subdued) with a cement plug for further operation. But while working on the well head as per programme, suddenly the well became active and started displacing profusely. There was uncontrolled flow of natural gas with little amount of condensate leading to blowout. Immediate actions were initiated with an aim to arrest the uncontrolled flow of gas from the well in the quickest possible time. Meantime, investigation is also going on to identify the root cause of this unfortunate incident.”
To contain more damage, OIL said that water is being pumped into the well through the casing valve to minimise the chances of fire. Removal of wellsite debris is in progress and the development of approach road for removing above items and other equipment from the well site is in progress.
OIL has engaged an NABET-accredited consultant to carry out an Environment Impact Assessment Study. The consultant team reached the site and work has started. OIL has also approached the CSIR–National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur and Wild Life Institute of India, Dehradun for conducting a detailed impact assessment studies, the statement said.
OIL said that around 1610 families have been evacuated from the nearby affected areas and are camped in four relief camps. All necessary supports for stay, food (including baby food), water, toilets, electricity and medical have been provided at the relief camps with support from district administration and local organisations.