Snubbing Unit from Canada to control Assam Baghjan fire burning for 5 months

The Oil India Limited recently announced that a new technique snubbing unit is to be brought from Canada to control the oil well blowout in Assam’s Baghjan.

Key Highlights

The Oil India Limited owned Baghjan well erupted on May 27, 2020. It has been burning for more than five months now. The fire damaged the highly sensitive ecosystem in the region. It displaced more than 9,000 people. The fire is still uncontrollable even after five months of continuous efforts. In order to put off the fire, a snubbing unit is being brought from Canada.

Why was the fire uncontrollable?

The OIL failed to control the fire after reaching a penultimate stage in August 2020. The uncontrollable release of natural gas was the main reason. Now, the gas has been diverted and the well is prepared for snubbing. Earlier the gas was released at 4,000 PSI and now it has been reduced to 2,000 PSI.

About the Technology

The technology has the capability to deal with high pressure wells. It reaches the bottom of the well through network of pipes. In this technology, a new well is drilled a little away from the current well and reach the burning well horizontally. The gas is then diverted to the new well.

A snubbing unit can do everything a rig can do. A drilling rig drills wells in the earth’s surface.

National Green Tribunal

The National Green Tribunal has recommended compensation in three categories. Rs 25 lakh for those people whose house were completely damaged, Rs 10 lakh for those whose houses are severely damaged and Rs 2.5 for those whose houses were moderately damaged.

Impacts

The well was closely located to the Ecologically Sensitive Zone of the Maguri Motapung wetland and Dibru-Saikhowa National Park. This affected the wildlife greatly.

The National Green Tribunal set up the Katakey Panel to study the impacts, causes of the accident and make recommendations to replenish the losses.

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