The latest development has compelled OIL to take back the Baghjan gas well number five in Assam's Tinsukia district to its blowout status with the well-spewing fire Credit: File image

Tinsukia: Public sector giant Oil India Limited ran out of luck once again on Monday, hours after claiming success in dousing the fire which was raging for months at Baghjan in Tinsukia district of Assam.

A leakage was observed at the thread of wellhead casing, prompting experts to halt the diversion of gas at 5.25 pm.

Well number five in is back to its blowout status with the well-spewing fire.

Confirming the developments, OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said, it was an important day for OIL as the blowout gas was diverted as planned and the blowout well fire, which was raging for months, was doused. “We could successfully divert the gas to two flare pits excavated near the blowout well and part gas to the Baghjan Early Production System (EPS) resulting in partial production.”

“However, a leakage was observed at the threat of the wellhead casing and the global and OIL and ONGC experts decided to halt the diversion operation for the time being,” Hazarika said, adding, the leakage needs to be fixed through welding, and it should be completed in day’s time. “Hence, the blowout well has been taken back to its blowout condition with fire raging out of it.”

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A flare pit is an earthen pit excavated adjacent to drilling wells to vent and burn gas and oil produced from the well.

Hazarika said, once the repairing work is completed, they will repeat the attempt to divert the natural gas flowing out of the well to reduce the pressure, and use the opportunity to resume partial production by sending part of the gas to Baghjan EPS.

“If the operation to divert the gas succeeds, we shall go in for snubbing operation to kill the well,” he added.

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Snubbing operation is similar to well workover operation with a slightly different process. Here, well is killed at the bottom by inserting pipes and pumping mud through this new pipe.

The “blowout” occurred at the gas well number 5 at Baghjan oilfield, at close proximity of Maguri-Motapung Beel and Dibru Saikhowa National Park, while workover operations were going on to produce gas from new sand (oil and gas-bearing reservoir) at a depth of 3,729 metres, leaving natural gas and condensate oil gush to hundred feet of in the air and spill all around. The well caught fire on June 9 and has been raging since then.

The natural gas is flowing out of the blowout well at a pressure of around 4500 psi which has complexed the situation for OIL ever since the blowout occurred over 100 days back.

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On Monday, OIL achieved success in diverting the gas, thereby, reducing the pressure to a great extent to pave in a way for snubbing operations to kill the well, but the success was short-lived.

Earlier, OIL’s “kill the well” operation failed on August 18, a day after getting huge success in installing Blowout Preventer (BoP) stack over the wellhead after two failed attempts, compelling them to make a shift in their strategy. Hence, the operation to divert the gas was considered to douse the fire.

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