Baghjan gas well capped after 83 days, operations start to douse fire
Placing the BOP successfully atop the well head was quite a challenging task for the expert team considering its sheer weight and the risky working environment around the blowout site due to intense heat emanating from the well
DIBRUGARH: Experts were finally able to cap Baghjan’s high-pressured gas well on Monday by successfully placing the Blow Out Preventer (BOP) at the well head after an 83-day-long struggle.
Placing the BOP successfully atop the well head was quite a challenging task for the expert team considering its sheer weight and the risky working environment around the blowout site due to intense heat emanating from the well. It was the third capping attempt made by the well-control experts from the Singapore-based Alert Disaster Control firm.
After the successful capping, the “well killing” operation will be carried out to douse the fire and stop the jets of condensate-mixed natural gas which has been spewing uncontrollably since the day of the blowout. Fluid and chemical mud will be injected into the well as part of the well-killing operation.
“We have successfully capped the Baghjan gas well. Capping technically means placing the BOP on the well head. The gas is still flowing and the fire is still to be doused. Only after we kill the well, the gas flow will be cut and the fire will be extinguished. The well killing operation will begin tomorrow (Tuesday). If everything goes as per plan, the killing operation will be over in 24 to 36 hours,” OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said.
Monday’s well capping operation by the alert team was assisted by the crisis management teams of OIL, ONGC and specialists of global oilfield services Schlumberger. Earlier, their first attempt to cap the well on July 31 had proved to be unsuccessful after the Athey wagon used in the operation toppled over as it was unable to bear the load of the Blow Out Preventer. Similarly on August 10, while experts successfully managed to place the BOP, it again had to be unscrewed from the well head and brought down after one of the two bull lines connected with the Athey wagon snapped.
“The well capping operation was initiated this morning and the capping BOP stack was successfully placed over the well head. The 16 studs have also been tightened. The preparations for killing operations are on. The BOP and the lines connected to it are being kept cool through continuous spraying of water,” OIL’s statement read.