Operations to control the blowout and fire in Oil India Limited's (OIL) natural gas well in Tinsukia district of Assam have hit a hurdle with incessant rains causing floods and damaging a bridge near the site, the petroleum major said on Thursday. The connecting roads to the Baghjan well, which has been spewing gas uncontrollably for nearly 30 days, have been submerged in flood waters.
Currently, there is only one connecting road, Plastic Park Road, which is narrow at places, resulting in challenges in movement of men and material, according to an OIL statement. A bridge between Doomdooma and Baghjan road was also damaged due to heavy rains since the last three days, it said. "The developments are severely affecting the progress and planning of work for capping the Well Number 5," the statement said.
On OIL authorities'' request, Army personnel will assess the condition of the bridge to plan their next course of action, it said. Regarding preparation for capping the well, the OIL said its team held a meeting with Singapore-based M/s Alert, ONGC and the Crisis Management Team (CMT) team to chalk out a plan in the wake of the floods.
Personnel of the Singapore-based firm has visited the well site to assess debris clearing work in the post flood situation. Civil work is in progress in spite of inclement weather and soft soil condition, the statement said. Meanwhile, the impact on oil and gas production due to protests led to production loss of 88 MT of crude oil and 0.15 MMSCM of natural gas as reported on Wednesday, the PSU said.
Operations were disrupted in 14 oil wells and one gas well and cumulative production loss since May 27 last due to blockades is 8482 MT of crude oil and 10.85 MMSCM of natural gas, the OIL added.
Over 9,000 people are staying in 13 relief camps after the May 27 blowout. A fire broke out at the well on June 9, killing two fire fighters of the OIL. Two OIL staffers have been suspended for alleged negligence of duty in the gas well blowout, a company official had said.