India: Country’s Plan To Mitigate Assam Gas Tragedy Receives International Endorsement

In this image made from video taken May 6, 2020 by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, fire and smoke rise from trees alongside a road in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Wildfires raging in the Florida Panhandle have forced nearly 500 people to evacuate from their homes, authorities said.

India has received international endorsement over its plans to tackle the Baghjan natural gas blowout and the subsequent fire which still rages on for the fifth consecutive day in the Baghjan oil field and its surrounding areas in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district.

According to highly placed sources, India and the US held talks on Friday over the incident and to chalk out plans for an eventual remediation process.

The process in this case will involve dousing of the fire and capping of the natural gas well.

Overall, the meeting held under the bilateral strategic energy partnership, saw specialists from the two countries and Singapore participate.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas constituted Crisis Management Team held detailed discussions with senior officials of the US Department of Energy (DOE) and US specialists on oil and gas disaster control on Friday.

“The US side shared their experience in dealing with similar gas blowout incidents in the US,” sources said.

“The US DOE and experts have broadly endorsed the steps taken so far by the OIL and ONGC experts, and also the plans outlined in containing the fire as well as to cap the well,” they added.

The development comes after OIL prepared a ‘roadmap’ to douse the fire, which continues to blaze for the fifth day on Saturday. It has till now claimed two lives.

In a statement on Friday, OIL said that a “roadmap” for the well control operation by the experts’ team from Singapore based M/s Alert, along with ONGC, Crisis Management Team and V.P. Mahawar, Ex-Director (Onshore) of ONGC, has been prepared to put out the inferno and plug the 17-day long leakage of gas and oil condensate in an OIL’s oil well in Tinsukia district.

It also added that a high discharge water pump was placed at the site while suitable place for stacking of materials and equipment was being mobilised from ONGC to be used for the control operation has been identified.

Engineers accompanied by experts from Singapore firm and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have further intensified their efforts to tame the blaze.

At least two firefighters of OIL were killed and four others, including one from ONGC, were injured near the oil well blowout site last Wednesday.

The Singapore-based emergency management firm has been trying to plug the leakage of gas and oil condensate for more than two weeks now.

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