DGH panel to probe fire at OIL field in Assam

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Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan

on Thursday constituted a three-member expert panel to probe the ‘blowout’ and subsequent fire at one of state-run Oil India Ltd’s

production wells

at Baghjan field in Tinsukia district of Assam.
The committee will be headed by S.C.L. Das, who heads

the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons

, the ministry’s regulatory arm for exploration companies. Former OIL chairman B.C. Bora and former ONGC director T.K.Sengupta are the other members.
The panel has been asked to submit its report within a month, identifying lapses in following operational protocols and procedures which led to the accident. It will also recommend short- and long-term measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents, including identifying possible gaps in operating procedures.
The well has been spewing gas mixed with a fine spray of condensates, called a blowout in industry parlance, since May 26 and caught fire on Tuesday. The blowout occurred during a workover programme to enhance production.
Assam chief minister

Sarbananda Sonowal

on Wednesday had briefed the prime minister, who assured of all assistance. Separately, Pradhan also discussed the situation with state government officials and OIL management.
The company has engaged Alert, a specialist firm from


, to help put out the blaze. The army is assisting the NDRF in controlling the fire and limiting its impact.
Meanwhile, concern is mounting over permanent damage to the rich bio-diversity since the Baghjan well is adjacent to the

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park


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