Fire at Indian gas well extinguished after five months

Article by Amanda Jasi

A FIRE which broke out at a gas well in India, in June, has now been “doused completely”,  according to news reports.

On 27 May a gas well owned by Oil India in the Baghjan oil field in the state of Assam, India began to leak – causing 2,500 people in the surrounding area to be evacuated to relief camps – and on 9 June the well caught fire. According to The Guardian, two workers died in the initial explosion and another worker died at the site in an accident that occurred in September. Reuters reports that three rescue officials died and five were injured trying to put out the fire in two separate incidents.

The gas blowout severely damaged local wetlands and the blast damaged homes. Long-term environmental impacts are expected.

Based on conflicting reports, the fire was said to have been extinguished on either 15 or 16 November. Efforts to contain the fire involved experts from Canada, Singapore, and the US according to The Guardian.

An Oil India spokesperson reportedly said that the well has been killed and is under control, adding that there in now no pressure in the well and it would be observed for 24 hours to check for gas migration and pressure buildup. “Further operation to abandon the well is in progress.” The spokesperson added that the well has to be capped, reports the Guardian.

In a financial statement released on 9 November, Oil India said that the cost of controlling the blowout was INR227.51cr (US$30.6m) as of 30 September.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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