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Assam: Baghjan situation remains tense, protest continues against OIL on World Environment day

The situation in Tinsukia’s Baghjan in Assam after a blowout took place at a well drilled by Oil India Limited leading to gas leak has remained unchanged even after 10 days of the incident. Hundreds of people including environmentalists and organisations have staged a protest against OIL demanding withdrawal of the drilling project.

The protestors said that a number of animals in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and its adjacent areas died due to the gas leak.

“How could they be so irresponsible? The gas leak has posed threat to the public life as well as the wildlife and the nature,” a protestor said while demanding the OIL to withdraw their drilling operation.

The blowout at the well number 5 of OIL at the Baghjan oilfield of OIL in Tinsukia in Assam, has adversely affected the famous migratory birds’ habitat Maguri-Motapung Beel and the Dibru Saikhowa National Park leaving death of rare species of dolphin.

Also read: Assam: OIL’s failure to curb gas leak endangers Dibru-Saikowa’s wildlife

High-level committee constituted

Almost a week after the incident at the well number 5 of OIL at the Baghjan oilfield, the forest department constituted a 10-member high-level inquiry committee to access its impact on wildlife and the ecology in the national park and the wetland adjacent to the oilfield. The team constitutes a group of local experts from various institutions, including a professor from Tezpur University and will be headed by Chief Wildlife Warden MK Yadav.

The blowout

The blowout happened while workover operations were going on to produce gas from new sand (oil & gas-bearing reservoir) at a depth of 3,729 metres. Earlier, the well was producing around 1 lakh Standard Cubic Metre per day (SCMD) of gas from a depth of 3,870 metres,” an Oil India statement said.

An explosion or blowout means that there has been an uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas from an oil well or gas well. This happens after pressure control systems fail.

The workover operations were being carried out by Chartered Hire Rig owned by John Energy under the supervision of OIL, an OIL statement said.

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