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Baghjan blowout: Assam MP demands financial assistance to affected families, writes to CM

Lok Sabha MP from Assam, Gaurav Gogoi on June 11th, 2020, urged the state government to provide interim financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to each to the families, who have been affected by the incident.

He further alleged that the Central Government, state Government and Oil India Limited (OIL) have been maintaining stoic silence in the Baghjan blowout incident and subsequent blast at the site despite the alarm raised by the people across the state.

In this regard, MP Gogoi, while saying that the incident was unfortunate, dashed off a letter to the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

He further added, “The explosion at Baghjan oil well resulted in huge damage of the property as well as to the natural habitat of the region. A number of houses, vehicles, small gardens and some forest areas have got burnt. The disruption has caused a serious threat among the local people and damaged the flora and fauna of the Dibru Saikhowa National Park, which is providing a secure home to wide-ranging fauna, including birds and aquatic species.”

Besides, he said the floating crude oil, as a result of the explosion, is a definite threat to the area’s rich biodiversity. “All efforts must be made to vacate the local residents residing within the vicinity of the well to safe places. Also necessary arrangements should be made for their food, shelter and to mobilize men/equipment at the site so that the situation can be brought under control,” he added.

Assam CM orders probe

CM Sonowal has ordered a high-level inquiry into the circumstances that led to a blowout at a gas well of Oil India Limited (OIL) in Tinsukia Baghjan and a subsequent fire that killed two persons.

After the initial blowout on May 27th, 2020, the BGR 5 oil well of Baghjan area was engulfed in a massive fire after a blast on June 9th, 2020. A dense cloud of smoke was seen erupting blowing out of Oil India BGR 5 well was seen.

Also read: Assam govt orders high-level inquiry into Baghjan blowout incident

This comes amid the backdrop of a team of experts from Singapore to Assam, who reached the site on June 8th, 2020 and was supposed to working on it.

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.

Prime Minister takes stock

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the tense situation of Baghjan during a telephonic conversation with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today.

The PM assured of all cooperation to the people, who have suffered in the incident.

A few days ago, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also took stock of the situation and told the CM that experts from Singapore have been called urgently to handle the situation. He had also directed the joint secretary of the Petroleum Ministry to rush to the spot.

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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