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Watch | All about the Assam oil well fire

A video explainer on the oil well blowout that led to a fire in OIL's Baghjan oilfield in Assam

An oil well in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district experienced a blowout on the morning of May 27, 2020. Machinery failure usually leads to a blowout, which is an uncontrolled release of crude oil or gas from a production well.

This particular well is under Oil India Limited or OIL's Baghjan oilfield

It adjoins the Maguri-Motapung wetland and is not far from the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park. For 13 days, gas had been flowing out “uncontrollably” despite the pumping in of water.

Around 1610 families had been evacuated from nearby affected areas and camped in four relief camps with an immediate compensation of Rs. 30,000 per affected family from OIL.

Three disaster control experts from a Singapore-based firm had arrived in a special flight to help contain the well on June 8.

But the well caught fire 13 days after it started spewing gas and associated elements on June 9 causing the death of two firemen who had jumped into a pond to avoid the flames.

Locals and environmentalists are worried about the impact of the gas leak and there have been reports of damage to the ecology of the area.

Pictures of carcasses of a river dolphin and some dead fishes in Maguri Motapung Beel, about 1.5 km from the incident site, went viral on social media.

There have been protests since June 9 around the site and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered a probe into the oil well catching fire

OIL has issued a show-cause notice to a Gujarat-based exploration and production firm that outsourced the operation of the Baghjan natural gas well.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 4:37:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/all-about-the-assam-oil-well-fire/article31826171.ece

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