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Singapore experts to visit Assam site to control blowout

Tinsukia: Fire tenders at Baghjan Oil Field after an explosion, in Tinsukia, Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

Tinsukia: Fire tenders at Baghjan Oil Field after an explosion, in Tinsukia, Wednesday, May 27, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

OIL evacuates 960 more families as situation turns grim

The Oil India Limited (OIL) has evacuated 960 more families near the blown out gas producing well in eastern Assam’s Baghjan ahead of the arrival of two experts from Singapore. Baghjan is about 40 km from Tinsukia.

The well near the sensitive Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, whose operation was outsourced to Gujarat-based John Energy Pvt Ltd, had a blowout on May 27.

By Tuesday, the OIL had shifted out 650 families comprising some 2,500 people from villages in the vicinity of the well to three relief camps. By Wednesday afternoon, the number of evacuated families increased to 1,610 as the situation turned grim.

“Two experts from Singapore-based firm Alert Disaster Control are expected to reach the site on June 4,” an OIL spokesperson said on Wednesday soon after Amar Nath, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum, inspected the site.

Mr. Nath held a review meeting with officials of the Tinsukia district administration, the Tinsukia Wildlife Division and the Assam State Pollution Control Board besides the OIL.

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

Locals and conservationists said large swathes of greenery and water bodies have been polluted by condensates falling from the gas escaping from the well continuously.

OIL officials said the Gujarat-based firm submitted its reply defending its “innocence”. The exploration major’s technical team is expected to challenge the reply according to the provisions of the contractual agreement and take appropriate action.

“The loss in terms of gas wasted due to the blowout would be estimated later,” the spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 10:47:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/singapore-experts-to-visit-assam-site-to-control-blowout/article31743716.ece

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