Exploration major Oil India Limited (OIL) has sought the services of a Singapore-based emergency management firm for stopping the uncontrolled flow of gas from a malfunctioning well in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district.
A blowout, which means an uncontrolled escape of crude oil or natural gas from a well, happened at OIL’s Baghjan well on May 27. John Energy Private Limited, a Gujarat-based exploration and production firm had been outsourced the operation of the gas-producing well near the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, a biodiversity hotspot.
“We are mobilising experts from Alert Disaster Control, a Singapore-based firm. They are expected to reach the site shortly after all matters related to COVID-19 and other formalities are addressed,” a spokesperson said from Dibrugarh district’s Duliajan, where the headquarters of OIL is located.
The Baghjan blowout was the second in 15 years at an OIL installation. It had taken a few top experts from the United States, including oil well firefighter Red Adair, to control the earlier blowout at Dikom in Dibrugarh district after 45 days.
OIL’s Chairman and Managing Director Sushil Chandra Mishra had on Monday said the Gujarat-based firm was issued a show-cause notice to explain the mishap. The reply is awaited.
OIL officials said hydraulic-driven equipment was being fabricated at their workshop for accessing the approach to the well. “The blowout requires a lot of water to control. As the required quantity of water could not be delivered from the source, we are laying pipelines for drawing water from the river to the site,” a senior OIL executive said.
In a statement, OIL also said 650 families comprising about 2,500 people have been evacuated from villages near the blowout site to three relief camps at a safe distance. These camps are at Baghjan Dighulturrang M.E School, St. Joseph School in Baghjan Tea Estate and Gateline LP School at Dighultarrang.
“All necessary support for stay, food, baby food, water, toilets, electricity and medical have been provided at the relief camps with support from the district administration and local organisations,” the statement said.