In a recent turn of events, the residents of Baghjan in Assam's Tinsukia district have filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Oil India Ltd (OIL) after a gas condensate leak from an oil well was reported. Following the incident, many groups have also filed FIRs against OIL in addition to the residents.
On March 8, the region experienced fear of an uncontrollable gas condensate leak from an oil well operated by OIL. The incident occurred due to a technical problem at a suction pipe on the surface level of the BGI well in Baghjan.
After discovering the technical issue, technical experts instantly stopped the leak by closing the well. However, locals have requested the cessation of all drilling operations until safety measures are established in the region.
The Baghjan disaster in May 2020 has been the center of attention with the ongoing issues of Oil India Limited. Well number 5 at Baghjan has been erupting wildly with gas since May 27, 2020, and caught fire on June 9, 2020, which has claimed the lives of two firefighters so far.
The Baghjan Oil Field has 21 active wells, of which 4 produce natural gas while the remaining produce oil. Baghjan Oil Field's Well No. 5 was established in 2006 and produces natural gas. Drilling at the Baghjan 5 well was being outsourced to an Ahmedabad-based firm, John Energy.
Despite the blowout being "killed" on 15 November 2020, 173 days after the blowout, with a technique called snubbing, an investigation by a committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal revealed in November 2020 that Oil India Limited had failed to obtain legally required clearances to operate the oil field at Baghjan.
The recent incident has once again brought the issue of safety measures and compliance with environmental laws and internal safety procedures to the forefront.
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