Oil India Ltd (OIL), a PSU, reported that while carrying out workover operations in the Gas Producing Well Baghjan-5 under Baghjan Oilfield in Tinsukia district of Assam, the well suddenly became active on 27 May, 2020and a blowout occurred. It led to uncontrolled flow of Gas from the well.OIL India sought support from ONGC, which immediately deployed their Crisis Management Team (CMT). OIL also mobilized a Singapore based firm M/s Alert Disaster Control.
The well was planned to be cappedby following the advice of experts and taking all safety precautions. While the clearing operations were going on at the well site, the well caught fire on 9 June 2020 around noon time, spreading the fire in an area of about 200 meters around the well site. The cause of the fire has not been ascertained till now.
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas along with Chief Minister of Assam reviewed the situation yesterday with the Oil India, ONGC, international experts and MoPNG officials through video conferencing. Assam Chief Minister emphasized the need to allay the apprehensions of the people to loss of life and property. Shri Dharmendra Pradhan assured the Chief Minister that there will be full cooperation from MoPNG and OIL. The affected families will be given relief and compensation, as may be finalized with State Government.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Pradhan again held a review meeting through Video Conferencing today with the crisis management team located at site, officials of OIL India Ltd and Ministry officials. It has been reported that except at the well plinth area, the fire around the site has mostly extinguished. However, the burning of gas at the well mouth will continue till the well is capped.
The fire in around 200 meters periphery has completely burnt about 15 houses, while another 10-15 houses have been partially affected.It is also reported that two firemen of Oil India Ltd have died. Preliminary information indicates that three firemen, two from OIL India, and one from ONGC jumped in a water pool nearby. While ONGC fireman got injured, two OIL India firemen could not save themselves. Their bodies have been retrieved.
The debris of burnt rig, fire engines and other material around the well site will be removed before any operation can be started to cap the well. Arrangements of continuous water supply will have to be made before activities are undertaken at the site which is likely to take 5-6 days to make these arrangements,and all the operations will take about 4 weeks to complete.
Around one thousand six hundred families had already been evacuated from the nearby affected areas and are camped in relief camps set up at nearby safe areas. OIL has decided to provide an amount of Rs. 30,000/- (Rupees Thirty Thousand) to each of the affected families as an immediate relief.
The well is located in the vicinity of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and MaguriMotapungBeel, a wetland. OIL has engaged an accredited agency to carry out environment impact in and around Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and MaguriMotapungBeel.
The Ministry is constantly reviewing and monitoring situation.