After multiple failures in capping and killing of Well No. 5 at Baghjan oilfields in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district, public sector giant Oil India Limited (OIL) has finally managed to douse the blowout well fire on Monday, 104 days after it erupted by diverting the flow of gas from well number 5 to the Early Production System (EPS).

Two pipelines measuring 4 inch of diameter each were laid from the well to the EPS. On the other hand, to release the pressure from the well two other pipelines will carry gas towards temporarily constructed flare pits.

The development comes almost three weeks after OIL’s well killing operations failed on August 18, a day after getting huge success in installing Blow Out Preventer (BoP) stack over the well head after two failed attempts.

Confirming the development OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said, “Change in technology and strategy seems to have borne fruits as the first step of today’s operation of diverting the massive gas flow from the blowout well was successful.”

The operation was carried out by a team of around 100 officers, engineers, technicians led by Manash Kamal Katoky, Chief General Manager–Drilling. A six member team of foreign experts was also involved in the operations. OIL has already lost two of its firefighters, while 4 others including 3 foreigners were injured in separate incidents.

This is perhaps the first time that gas has been diverted from a blowout well in India.

While diversion of the gas from blowout area has led to the beginning of partial production, the success is not yet complete and OIL authorities are still observing several other parameters to ascertain is the gas diversion efforts are fully successful.

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