Being aware of the Baghjan oilfield incident in Assam’s Tinsukia district, the Centre said in the Parliament on Saturday that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for oil and gas industry are also being re-visited for making improvements in order to prevent such accidents in future.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Ministry for Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) Dharmendra Pradhan said that in most incidents of gas leakages in any pipeline, the oil & gas wells are closed immediately to prevent fire and loss of oil and gas and after carrying out leakage rectification job, operations are normalized and production is restored.

“Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas regularly monitors and reviews various safety measures in the oil & gas sector and directs the companies from time to time to take suitable measures to ensure safety in these installations,” he said.

OISD, a technical Directorate of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas formulates safety standards for the entire Oil & Gas Industry.

The Directorate carries out regular safety audits to check and review whether the safety standards and norms are being followed by the industry.

The audits include External safety audits & Surprise safety Audits at periodic intervals to cover all the existing installations; pre-commissioning safety audit of all new facilities being added to the existing installation & new installation being set up, before commissioning of the facilities.

Referring to the Baghjan incident, Pradhan said that there has been an impact on the nearby areas because of the heat and noise generated from the blowout well of Baghjan field.

“Approximately 3000 affected families were evacuated to rehabilitation camps set up by the district administration,” he said.

He said that M/s TERI has been engaged for Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) monitoring and Bioremediation, CSIR North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) has been engaged for Seismological Study and IIT, Guwahati has been engaged for heat impact through Thermal Imaging. There has been no casualty of local residents.

However, Oil India Limited (OIL) has lost three employees, Pradhan said.

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