The final operation of well-killing to douse the fire at the damaged gas well of Oil India Limited (OIL) at Baghjan in Assam failed today due to "technical reasons", officials said.
After Monday's successful capping operation and two failed attempts to shut Oil India's damaged gas well No.5 at Baghjan, all arrangements for carrying out well-killing operation such as connections of kill lines and choke manifold lines were completed today.
However, the final well-killing work -- a risky operation that involves pumping in mud with high pressure into the well -- failed today.
"The process of killing of well was attempted but there were some challenges and the mission failed. After experts at Duliajan return, we will know the actual reason. The next course of action will also be known later," Oil India limited spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said.
He said the killing of the well will be done through spraying chemicals. "These are mostly synthetic chemicals which are used for killing of well."
It's been 81 days since the oil well at Baghjan in Tinsukia district, 500 km from main city Guwahati, had a blowout (on May 27) and was leaking gas, causing damage to the region's wetlands and biodiversity. The well caught fire on June 9, killing two Oil India firefighters.
A new fire broke out on July 22, injuring three foreign experts working at the site to put off the blaze. The blowout has also displaced hundreds of families.
Oil India, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and experts from a Singapore-based firm Alert Disaster Control are working to douse the fire.
"The OIL attempted to kill the well but the attempt has failed. We are hopeful that very soon, the fire will be doused which is coming out from the blowout site," said a local resident in Baghjan.
President of Baghjan Gaon Milanjyoti Yuva Sangha, a local organisation, Satyajit Moran said: "We are demanding compensation for the families whose houses and property were damaged during the fire on June 9. The OIL has decided that they will give the compensation according to categories made by the National Green Tribunal."
A total of 2,756 families have been surveyed for assessment of damage for compensation till Monday in Doomdooma and Tinsukia Circle. Data collection at the site has been completed for Environmental Impact Assessment study by various agencies, officials said.
Oil India's in-house monitoring of air quality, noise level and gas presence is on while bio re-mediation activities in the affected areas are also in progress.
A total of 30,104 metric tonnes of crude oil and 71.01 million metric st cubic metre of natural gas has been lost as a result of protests in and around Baghjan area since May 27 due to the blowout.