Oil India Limited (OIL) has engaged Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) to study reported cracks in houses surrounding the Baghjan blowout site in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia using thermal mapping and measurement of sound characteristics.

The study has been initiated on Thursday in presence of officials from the district administration and PWD and Gaonburah in Notungaon area of Tinsukia.

However, excavation for ramp adjacent to the Cellar Pit (in which the wellhead is placed) started on Wednesday.

This is to be followed by the breaking and excavation of cellar pit walls (1.67 meters high on 4 sides).

“Excavation for one side of ramp has been completed. Work for the other side is planned for today. The excavation is taking longer time than anticipated due to the presence of old rig Sub-base (RCC structure of app. 1.5 meters depth). There is heavy water ingression due to the high groundwater table. De-watering from the ramp has been started from today after installation of the turbo and pneumatic pump,” said an OIL statement.

Further, in the process of excavating the earth, due to the higher water table, the caving-in of the earth is being experienced.

To carry out this operation safely, arrangements of about 45-50 meters of steel shuttering materials are being made, which will be placed on the sidewalls of the ramp to arrest the caving of earth in the ramp area.

Meanwhile, ERM team carried out ecological surveys in Rongagora Tea Estate, Limbuguri village and Barekuri area.

The application of biomaterial will be started once the site preparation is completed in affected areas, which was severely impacted by logged flood water.

An official of OIL said, “Total eight numbers of water pumps are available for pumping water from Dangori River to two numbers of water reservoirs created at the well site for the capping operation and all eight pumps are in operating condition. Both the water reservoirs are being filled up periodically as per requirement. Total six numbers (3 ONGC pumps and 3 OIL pumps) of CMT High Discharge Water Pumps are available at site for spraying water to the wellhead during operation.”

Avik Chakraborty

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