The fire at Baghjan oil well was yet to be doused even as Oil India Limited (OIL) on August 17 successfully placed a blow-out preventer (BOP) stack over the well head.
The oil well at Baghjan in Assam’s Tinsukia district has been burning since June 9 after a massive explosion engulfed the site. Earlier, on May 27, the oil well developed a burst which continued to emit condensate and gas till it caught fire.
The BOP is a very heavy metal cover weighing several tonnes that is placed at the mouth of any gas or oil well to stop leakage of the fuel from under the ground.
“The well capping operation was initiated this morning (August 17) and the capping BOP Stack was successfully placed over the well head. The 16 studs have also been tightened. The preparations for killing operations are on. The BOP and the lines connected to it are being kept cool through continuous spraying of water,” said a statement issued by the OIL.
On July 31, an attempt to shut the well faced a setback when the wagon or hydraulic lift used to put a lid on the mouth gave in and ‘toppled over’. The company will now start the ‘killing’ of the well in order to block the uncontrollable gas flow and douse the raging fire.
Already experts from Singapore, Canada and the US are at work. OIL authorities said that they will be able to douse the fire in the next few days.
On the eve of the 74th Independence Day, president of India has approved President’s Fire Service Medal for gallantry posthumously to the fire-fighters Tikheswar Gohain and Durlov Gogoi who lost their lives in the line of duty when the oil well caught fire.