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OIL ropes in Singapore firm to control Baghjan blowout

 DULIAJAN, June 2 - The Oil India Limited (OIL) has engaged the services of a Singapore-based firm to contain the gas blowout at Baghjan in Tinsukia district. A three-member team of experts from M/s Alert Disaster Control will fly to India from Singapore tomorrow if they pass immigration formalities. Crisis management experts Michael Ernest Allcorn, Edward Harris MacLeod and Craig Neil Duncan will reach the Baghjan blowout site on June 4 if everything goes according to plan.

The OIL management is planning to bring the three experts from Delhi to Dibrugarh on a chartered aircraft.

It may be mentioned that OIL was carrying out workover operations at Baghjan on May 27 when around 10:30 am the well became active and a blowout occurred leading to uncontrolled flow of gas. The well is spewing gas uncontrollably since then.

Meanwhile, a joint crisis management team of OIL and ONGC has been pumping water into the well through the casing valve to minimise the chances of fire. Digging for a water reservoir near the well site and preparation of the area for placement of two 2,500-gallon capacity pumps are also in progress.

It has been assessed that approaching the vicinity of the well would not be safe as the gas is gushing at high pressure. Hence, fit-for-the-purpose equipment (hydraulically driven mechanical transporters) are being fabricated at the OIL workshop in Duliajan under the supervision of the joint crisis management team.

All safety and security measures are being taken in the area to protect the surrounding villagers and their properties as part of the well control operation. The OIL fire service is also stationed at the site and ‘water jacketing’ of the well has been undertaken to avert any eventuality.

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