About 45 days since a damaged gas well blew out in Assam's Baghjan, about 500 kilometres from Guwahati, the state-owned Oil India Limited (OIL) said it was confident of beginning the "main works" for controlling the fire in the next few days.
The OIL-owned gas well no 5 at Baghjan Tinsukia, near the Dibru Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, had caught fire on June 9, killing two of OIL's firefighters at the site. All ongoing works to douse the blaze were suspended about 2 weeks ago because of floodwaters inundating the site and submerging the pumps installed to put out the fire.
In a short video released to media houses, OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said that the "most important hurdle" has been overcome.
"All the debris of workover rigs, the most important hurdle in controlling the fire, has been removed from the well plinth and all the small items are now being swept away. With this done, we will be able to start the main work for controlling the fire in the next 2-3 days," Mr Hazarika said.
The rigs were hired from Gujarat-based John Energy Ltd.
Hazarika said, "The fire control works were halted for the last two days due to inclement weather and floods in and around the well site caused by incessant rain. Work was resumed Tuesday."
Closure of four gas wells, eight oil wells in Baghjan and one well in Dhakuwal because of protests by locals after the fire has resulted in a cumulative loss of 3,016 metric tonnes of crude oil and 10.07 million metric standard cubic meters of natural gas.
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