File photo of Baghjan well site | Photo Courtesy: OIL

Oil India Limited has said that the Baghjan blowout site in Tinsukia district of Assam may be brought under control within the next four-five days if everything works out according to their plan.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

The leaking oil and gas well of the state-owned Oil India Limited (OIL) at Baghjan is expected to be capped and the fire in one of the wells doused in four-five days, news agency IANS reported on July 13, quoting an unnamed ‘top official’ of the company in Guwahati.

“We are in the final phase of capping the well and dousing the fire in the Baghjan well in the Tinsukia district of eastern Assam. We expect the operation to be over in four-five days,” a senior OIL official was quoted as saying by the news agency.

The oil and gas well at Baghjan in Tinsukia district started leaking gas and oil condensate since May 27. The site caught fire on June 9 while the officials were trying to stop the leak. It soon turned into an inferno and killed two of OIL’s fire fighters at the site.

“Heavy rain and flood affected the operation and damaged many machinery and makeshift structures. Despite that officials, engineers and workers continued to work to control the situation,” the official added.

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Foreign experts and engineers of OIL and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) have been engaged in their effort to cap the oil well.

The Army was also called to build the temporary infrastructure like Bailey bridge at the site.

Earlier, OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika had said that due to floods in the area, the operation was hit. “After heavy rainfall, the area has been badly hit by flood and the site has been inundated with flood water. The Kill Pump area is completely flooded. OIL CMT Water Pump area is submerged with flood water,” OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika had said.

Besides the hostile weather conditions, OIL is also facing agitation by locals demanding higher compensation for their losses. While a section of agitators has withdrawn protest, others continue to agitate holding OIL responsible for the mishap. OIL has provided Rs 30,000 compensation to each of the affected families.

OIL officials said transportation of heavy machineries and equipment from Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, Vadodara in Gujarat and other places was also delayed due to COVID-19 protocols and curbs.

The central and state governments, OIL and several independent agencies are carrying out a number of probes to unearth the cause of the major blowout and the successive blaze.

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