On Saturday Oil India Ltd said it has suffered a production loss of 638 tonnes of crude oil and 0.46 million standard cubic metres per day of natural gas following a blowout and massive fire at a well in its Assam field.
Natural gas mixed with condensate started flowing uncontrollably from one of the wells of the company-operated Baghjan fields in Tinsukia district of Assam on May 27, 2020, leading to a blowout. The well caught fire on June 8, killing two fire fighters and injuring one.
The fire led to agitation by locals at OIL assets, leading to shutting down of 66 oil wells and 13 gas wells at some areas in Assam, the company said in a statement on Twitter.
“This led to a production loss of 638 tonnes of crude oil and 0.46 mmscmd of natural gas,” it said. OIL said drilling and workover operations were stopped or disrupted at four locations. Crude oil transportation through browser operations were also hampered in some areas.
The petroleum ministry has constituted a three-member high-level committee to inquire into the incident. The panel will be headed by S C L Das, director general of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), a ministry order of June 11 said. It will “identify the lapses in following laid down protocols and procedures which led to the incident,” the order said.
The committee will also “recommend short and long-term measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents including identifying any gaps in laid down standard operating procedure.” The panel, which also includes former ONGC chairman B C Bora and former ONGC director T K Sengupta, will submit its report within one month, the order said.
OIL said the fire has since been contained to the well and it is trying to put out the fire. Except at the well plinth area, the fire around the site has been extinguished. However, the burning of gas at the well mouth will continue till the well is capped.
According to Oil India, three firemen — two from OIL India and one from ONGC — jumped in a water pool nearby when the fire broke out. While the ONGC firemen got injured, two OIL India firemen could not save themselves. Their bodies have been retrieved.