MP Gaurav seeks clarification on “Why OIL was using ONGC’s equipment to ‘kill’ the blowout?”

MP expressed dissatisfaction with OIL’s management of conventional operations and fire mitigating measures which led the situation to aggravate

Guwahati: Kaliabor MP Gaurav Gogoi expressing his concern on the Baghjan blowout wrote a letter to the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, he also raised the issue under Rule 377 in Lok Sabha. Following which, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas directed the Chief Managing Director of Oil India Limited to brief the Member of Parliament on the situation in Baghjan.

The briefing was conducted earlier on Tuesday morning by the Chief Managing Director and other senior officers of OIL, over virtual media.

As the briefing enumerated the chain of events on May 27, 2020 and June 9, 2020, it came to light that a blowout had occurred in the midst of a conventional ‘work-over’ being conducted to shift the zone of production. In the middle of this process, the blow out occurred before the BOP that was removed could be placed back in its position. Subsequently, a spark in the watering pipes caused the highly inflammable gas to catch fire on June 9, 2020. During the briefing enumerating the chain of events, the MP expressed dissatisfaction with OIL’s management of conventional operations and fire mitigating measures which led the situation to aggravate.

Gogoi further sought clarification on why OIL was using ONGC’s equipment to ‘kill’ the blowout. He also expressed concern over the equipment being procured in 1995 after the Andhra Pradesh blowout by ONGC and suggested that OIL procure its independent equipment.

The response to the Kaliabor MP’s key question, seeking the estimated time for containing the blowout was ambiguous. OIL officials stated that a computer simulation for the Snubbing procedure was underway, which if finalized would take another 5-6 weeks for completion after the decision was made. The secondary procedure to make a relief well is expected to take another 4-5 months.

Impact on groundwater and air was also discussed and it was stated that all assessments are underway and final reports are awaited. The MP expressed grave concern about transgenerational harm that may occur to health and livelihood as a consequence of soil and groundwater toxicity. The MP further observed that any compensation decided without adequate assessment of the soil and its impact on health, agriculture and livelihood will be inadequate, and that affected families should be further compensated.

The MP also inquired about the safety measures employed for workers and teams deployed at the site of impact. He further suggested that continuous health assessment be conducted both during and after the blowout to mitigate any long term impacts to all front line workers’ health.

Gogoi thanked the Chief Managing Director and senior officers of OIL for the briefing and stated that lessons needed to be learned from Baghjan. He reiterated that there exists a fundamental need to provide for a more robust and independent mitigation system to prevent another Baghjan.

Also Read: Young electrical engineer of OIL dies at Baghjan Blowout well site

Young electrical engineer of OIL dies at Baghjan Blowout well site

By Bijoy Sutradhar

Guwahati: In yet another tragic incident, one Arnab Kishore Bordoloi, a dynamic young electrical engineer of Oil India Limited (OIL) while working with some equipment at Baghjan Blowout well site, suddenly fell down and lost consciousness.

He was provided emergency health care by doctor at site and was taken to AMCH in Dibrugarh where he was declared dead, OIL informed in a tweet.

The reasons of the death will be known after post-mortem.

“This is a very tragic incident and has created a pall of gloom in OIL. A Team from OIL is carrying out inspection at well site to find out possible reasons for this accident,” said OIL in their tweet.

Also Read: Baghjan oil well succesfully capped...

Baghjan oil well succesfully capped after 83 days, OIL says

Tinsukia: Finally after 83 days of the blowout at the Baghjan Oil field, Oil India Limited (OIL) initiated well-capping operation this morning. The Blowout Preventer (BoP) was successfully placed over the well-head. The 16 studs have also been tightened, informed OIL in a press statement.

The preparations for killing operations are on. BoP and the lines connected to it are being kept cool through continuous spraying of water.

The development came after two attempts on July 31 and August 10 failed, and a day after 4 global experts visited Duliajan and joined the capping operations.

The four global experts, including the three - Athony Stephens Reynolds, Doug Dallas, both from the US and Craig Neil Duncan from Australia, who were injured in an accidental fire at the blowout well, returned back to their countries. The fourth member to go was Edward Harris McLeod.

It may also be mentioned that a total of 2756 families have been surveyed for assessment of damage for compensation till August 16, 2020 in Doomdooma and Tinsukia circle.

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Baghjan Tragedy: OIL compensates 11 affected families with Rs 20 lakh each

By Bijoy Sutradhar

Tinsukia: Amid the crisis situation in the state, the Oil India Limited (OIL) compensates at least 11 families whose dwelling houses have been gutted down in the incident of fire breakout at Well No- 5 of Baghjan.

As per a notification, the OIL has directed its financial section to release a compensation amount of Rs 20 (lakh) for each family at Baghjan.

The 11 affected family who will be receiving this package are Papul Chetia, Ritu Moran, Horuful Panging, Deep Saikia, Amal Saikia, Bikash Saikia, Sahadev Moran, Hemanta Moran, Lakhindra Moran, Munu Mura, Labanya Saikia.

OIL compensates 11 affected families of Baghjan in presence of Assam Tea Tribe Welfare Minister Sanjoy Kishan in Tinsukia

Earlier, Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced a slew of schemes for rebuilding devastated Baghjan.

Sonowal also stated during a press briefing that around Rs 27 crore will be sanctioned for embankment protection in Baghjan.

It may be mentioned that well number 5 at Baghjan in Tinsukia district has been spewing gas uncontrollably since May 27 and it caught fire on June 9, killing two firefighters of OIL at the site.

Also Read: CM Sonowal announces slew of schemes for rebuilding devastated Baghjan

Army Constructs Composite Bridge At Blown Out Baghjan Oil Field

Guwahati: Surmounting all challenges, the Indian Army completed the construction of a Composite Bridge at the blow out the site of Well Number 5 in Baghjan Oil Field on 22 June 2020.

Oil India Limited on 14 June through the Civil Administration had requisitioned assistance of the Indian Army for construction of the bridge at the incident site.

The construction of this bridge was extremely critical for the task of controlling the fire, as it provides the only access to the experts to approach the well. The experts now plan to lay a heavy-duty pipeline over the bridge and create a water umbrella for dousing the fire.

The execution of this engineering feat was a challenging task that involved the mobilisation of 233 metric tons of bridging stores over 400 kilometres. 150 specially trained troops of Army undertook the task for construction under extremely risky and hazardous conditions in the vicinity of the raging fire with working temperatures exceeding 75 degrees celsius. Undaunted by the multitude of engineering challenges the Army constructed the bridge in a short time of 24 hours under heavy rainfall and extreme temperatures.

The bridge has provided much-needed impetus to the ongoing disaster relief efforts. A special team will continuously maintain the bridge and keep it afloat even in the harshest of conditions.

Also Read: CM Sonowal announces slew of schemes for rebuilding devastated Baghjan

Bodies of two OIL employees recovered from pond in Baghjan Oil Field

Guwahati: Yet another shocking incident came to light amidst the explosion at Baghjan Oil Field on Wednesday morning, as the bodies of two Oil India Limited (OIL) employees were recovered from a nearby pond from Baghjan area in Tinsukia.

The two OIL employees were identified as Durlabh Gogoi and Tirtheswar Gohain.

It has also come to light that Durlabh Gogoi is a renowned footballer and had represented OIL in many national level games.

Meanwhile, the bodies of both the OIL employees have been sent for post mortem by the NDRF rescue team.

It is to be noted that the major blowout at well number 5 of The Baghjan Oil Field in Tinsukia on May 27, resulted in a massive fire engulfing the premises, spewing gas, and dark clouds of smoke since Tuesday afternoon.

Already 3000 people in a 1.5 km radius of the oil well had to be evacuated on May 27. Local tea gardens and water bodies destroyed, local people are forced to move to relief camps. The gas leak and fire has put the nearby Dibru-Saikhowa National Park at risk.

Also Read: Baghjan Oil Field Blowout: Student bodies demand answers from Govt

Baghjan Oil Field Blowout: Student bodies demand answers from Govt

Guwahati: Following the major blowout at well number 5 of The Baghjan Oil Field in Tinsukia on May 27, thus, resulting to a massive fire engulfing the premises, spewing gas and dark clouds of smoke on Tuesday, the Assam Study Circle, JNU, North East Students' Forum, JNU and Northeast Students' Forum (TISS) demanded answers from the Government of India, Government of Assam and officials of Oil India Limited.

They urged the netizens to join them in a twitter storm with the following hashtags #BaghjanFire #SaveDibruSaikhowa #NoMoreExtraction.

It is to be noted that already 3000 people in a 1.5 km radius of the oil well had to be evacuated on May 27. Local tea gardens and water bodies destroyed, local people are forced to move to relief camps. The gas leak and fire has put the nearby Dibru-Saikhowa National Park at risk. Thousands of people living nearby have had to be evacuated due to spouting of natural gas and condensed droplets, claimed the students’ bodies.

The bodies further questioned, “We ask for how long and how many times will such incidents threaten the lives and livelihoods of the people of Assam. When will the government wake up to its responsibilities towards the people who elected it? Who must be held accountable for such unfolding tragedies: officials of Oil India Limited, the Assam Government, the Government of India and/or a system that facilitates negligence of duty and exploitative and extractive practices that are neither environmentally sound nor people-friendly but only serve to economically benefit the elite, ruling classes? The people who have suffered are waiting for honest, credible, accountable answers.”

Also Read: Major fire breaks out at Baghjan Oil Field in Tinsukia

Major fire breaks out at Baghjan Oil Field in Tinsukia

By Bijay Sutradhar

Guwahati: Almost a week after a blowout in the oil field in the Baghjan area of Assam, a major fire broke out this afternoon, thus, creating panic amongst the local people in the area.

As per sources, there was a gas leakage from the site since May 27, 2020, when the blowout was reported.

Since the past 14 days, no proper initiative has been taken by the Oil India Limited (OIL), claimed the local people in the area.

Earlier on Monday, a three-member team of experts from Singapore arrived at the spot to assess and bring the situation under control. Unfortunately, the fire broke out this afternoon creating a panic situation in the entire region.

Meanwhile, NDRF and Air Force have been called for help.

Fire tenders of OIL have also reached the spot in order to get hold of the situation.

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