Guwahati, September 14: The Union government today admitted that there has been considerable impact of heat and noise generated from the blowout well in areas surrounding the site at Baghjan in Tinsukia district of eastern Assam.
Union petroleum minister, Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on the fire at Baghjan oilfield, stated that “there has been an impact on the nearby areas because of the heat and noise generated from the blowout well of Baghjan field.”
A blowout from gas well number five at Baghjan on May 27 last subsequently caught fire triggering an inferno on June 9, 2020.
The gas flow from the blowout well however has been successfully diverted in the second attempt on Sunday morning to four locations – two flare pits and to two other sites at the Baghjan EPS (early production system).
“Approximately, 3000 affected families have been evacuated to rehabilitation camps set up by the district administration,” Pradhan said.
TERI has been engaged for ambient air quality monitoring and bioremediation while CSIR’s North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) has been engaged for seismological study and IIT, Guwahati has been engaged for heat impact through thermal imaging.
The Oil India Limited (OIL) has so far lost three employees including two foremen and an engineer.
“The ministry of petroleum and natural gas has constituted a three-member inquiry committee to inquire into the deaths of OIL staff,” the Union minister stated.
In addition, inquiry committees have also been set up by the directorate general of mines and safety (DGMS), and Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD).
Two officers of OIL directly looking after the operations of the well before blowout have been suspended.
Earlier in July, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had in a study report on the impact of the well blowout at Baghjan oil field on surrounding landscape, said “The predicted noise level from oil explosion point to 12 km ranges from 113 to 70 decibels respectively which will adversely impact mammals, birds and insects, from disorientation to health issues. Animals would be stressed, as they have to communicate at higher decibels,” the preliminary impact study conducted by WII from May 29 to July 7, said.