Blast in oil field in Tinsukia. Image credit: Republic TV
A major blowout took place on May 27 at a gas producing well of OIL at Baghjan.

Experts from Singapore will reach Duliajan on Monday to contain the blow out at a gas producing well in Oil India Limited (OIL)’s well at Baghjan in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district.

Three experts – Michael Ernest Allcorn, senior well control operations, Craig Neil Duncan, senior well control engineer, Edward Harris MacLeod, senior well control specialist belonging to M/s Alert Disaster Control will be flown the site to control the blow out.

Sources said issues in COVID-19 related clearances in Singapore has delayed their arrival.

“…upon assessment of the unique circumstances of the Oil India well control incident and the critical importance of our mobilization clearance, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has issued a one-time ‘exceptional clearance’ for the charter aircraft arrival and immediate departure from Singapore and the corresponding arrival of the Alert Advance team to Guwahati, Assam on June 7 at 2 pm,” said Jayant Bormudoi, senior manager of corporate communication of OIL.

“…items like breathing air cascade & H2S detection etc. required for blow-out control activities are being mobilized. All safety and security measures are continuously being monitored to protect surrounding villagers and their properties, working teams. Protection of the environment would be paramount while carrying out the well control operation,” Bormudoi said in a statement.

According to the locals, the gas leak from the well has contaminated water bodies that flow into the Maguri Motapung Beel and the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.

Many animals have already died after the leaking of oil and gas from the oil well.

The workers of Oil India Ltd and crisis management team from ONGC are working day and night to control the disaster but they failed to contain the blow out.

Amar Nath, joint secretary, MOPNG inspected Dibru Saikhowa National Park along with DFO (Wildlife), Tinsukia on Thursday and interacted with officials of OIL in the presence of tea tribes welfare minister Sanjoy Kishan.

Several students’ organizations and locals staged series of protests at Baghjan for rehabilitation and compensation of the affected people.

The locals demanded the OIL to stop their drilling work at Baghjan alleging that it has affecting the ecology of the area.

OIL has decided to provide Rs 30,000 to each of the affected families as an immediate relief.

“The detailed beneficiary list with name and bank account details will be prepared by district administration,” said Bormudoi.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com