Saturday, June 25, 2022

Fire at Baghjan oilfield controlled; 3 more foreign experts called in to plug gas leak

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  • At the moment, only flowing gas is burning at the mouth of the well, a senior executive at OIL said

  • OIL has disbursed Rs 4.83 crore as compensation for 1,610 affected families

New Delhi: Two days after it first broke out, fire in the periphery of the oilfield in Assam’s Baghjan in Tinsukia district which has been continuously flowing gas since May 27 has finally been controlled. At the moment, only flowing gas is burning at the mouth of the well, a senior executive at OIL (Oil India Limited) said on Thursday. Even though the fire has now been confined to a smaller area, authorities at OIL have declared areas within the radius of 1.5 Km around the oilfield in Baghjan as “red zone” as a safety measure in order to avoid any mishap, the executive said.

The news comes a day after two firefighters employed with OIL were found dead in a wetland around the well blowout site. They had been missing since June 9, the day the oilfield in Baghjan caught fire. The gas leaking from the Baghjan well is said to have caught fire during cleaning operations, leading to an explosion.

3 more foreign experts to arrive at Baghjan oilfield in 2 days

The senior official from OIL said that apart from the three experts from Singapore-based Alert Disaster Control, three more experts — two from the US and one from Canada — are expected to reach Assam in two days. The three experts from the Singapore-based firm are already in Assam and are working at the site since June 8 to stop the blowout. 

OIL disburses Rs 4.83 crore for 1,610 affected families

In a statement released on Thursday, OIL said that it has deposited Rs 4.83 crore into the bank account of District Commissioner, Tinsukia, on Thursday, in keeping with the tripartite agreement reached between the district administration, representatives of local students’ organisations and OIL. According to the agreement reached between the three parties at a meeting on June 5, OIL had offered a one-time compensation of Rs 30,000 per family as immediate relief. The funds released to the district administration will go towards offering the said compensation to affected families.

OIL has lost 467 MT of crude oil production from 59 producing wells on June 10 due to the blockade by local people and various students’ organisations at Makum, Barekuri, Hapjan, Lankashi, Nagajan, Hebeda and Dhakul. Gas production has also been affected.

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