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Assam’s Baghjan gas well abandoned seven months after blowout

A view of the Baghjan gas well in Assam’s Tinsukia district. File  

Oil India Limited (OIL) has abandoned its blowout well in eastern Assam’s Baghjan seven months after it burst out of control and caught fire later.

A statement from the oil exploration major, headquartered at Duliajan in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district, said the process of abandoning Well No. 5 was completed on Thursday evening.

Also read: Battling blowout, OIL incurs loss of ₹248.61 crore

The well is one of more than 20 in OIL’s Baghjan Oilfield close to the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in the adjoining Tinsukia district. The well had been killed, a jargon used for stopping the outflow of gas by injecting a chemical mud to seal the passages, a fortnight ago.

OIL had declared an emergency for its internal control purposes after the blowout or uncontrolled release of gas and oil at the well on May 27. The well caught fire on June 9 and killed two fire-fighters, complicating matters for half a dozen global disaster experts who had been flown in to deal with the crisis.

Also read: Assam Baghjan well fire tamed 110 days after blowout

One of OIL’s engineers died at the site in September due to electrocution.

“The emergency was withdrawn after abandonment of the well. All the jobs pertaining to capping, killing and final abandonment of the well was successfully completed in the evening hours on December 3,” OIL said in a statement.

Apart from loss of lives, the disaster had destroyed more than a dozen houses in the vicinity and damaged 40 more partially. More than 3,000 people had to leave their homes and stay in temporary camps while efforts to tame the well were on.

Locals and experts from agencies such as Wildlife Institute of India said the blowout and the fire affected the Maguri-Motapung wetland close to Well No. 5 and killed some aquatic animals and birds.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 5:46:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assams-baghjan-gas-well-abandoned-seven-months-after-blowout/article33246613.ece

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