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OIL issues show-cause to outsourced Gujarat firm on Assam blowout

Not carrying any operations within eco-sensitive zone, says Oil India Limited chief

Oil India Limited (OIL) has issued a show-cause notice to the Gujarat-based exploration and production firm that was outsourced the operation of the Bagjan natural gas well where a blowout occurred on May 27.

Blowout is an uncontrolled escape of crude oil or gas, usually due to a mishap. Gas has been flowing out “uncontrollably” despite the OIL’s crisis management team opening the casing valve of the well and pumping water through it.

OIL’s Chairman and Managing Director Sushil Chandra Mishra on Monday said John Energy Pvt Ltd had been asked to explain the blowout at the well in Tinsukia district of Assam. The well adjoins the Maguri-Motapung wetland and is not far from the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, home to some feral horses.

OIL may bring in U.S. experts to contain gas well blowout in Assam

“Action will also be initiated against employees of the OIL if there is any prima facie evidence of human error for which a five-member inquiry committee has been formed,” he told newspersons in Duliajan, OIL’s headquarters in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district.

Ministry’s notification

Mr. Mishra cited a January 28, 2020, gazette notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to “reaffirm the fact that the OIL is not carrying out any operations within the eco-sensitive zone. This zone is up to 10 km from the edge of a protected area.”

“We are equally concerned about the reported impact on the biodiversity of the area for which we are awaiting the observations and findings of the district administration, the Forest department and the [State] Pollution Control Board so that all necessary steps can be taken,” he said.

The OIL’s safety and environment sections had been continuously monitoring the ground situation and would be engaging an expert agency for monitoring the environmental impact due to the blowout, Mr. Mishra added.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 9:16:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/oil-issues-show-cause-to-outsourced-gujarat-firm-on-assam-blowout/article31726490.ece

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