Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Environment India

40+ gas leaks, fires at refineries and oil wells in 4 years: Petroleum Ministry to LS

Admission made in a response to a Parliamentary question about the Baghjan oil well leakage and fire.

Sabrangindia 14 Sep 2020

Image Courtesy:ft.com

On the first day of Monsoon Session, the Lok Sabha dealt with some pertinent questions put forth by Members of the Parliament (MP). The question hour has been cancelled, which means questions will not be asked and answered orally by Ministers but only written answers will be given for each day of the session.

A total of 7 MPs, including Supriya Sule and Dr. DNV Senthilkumar, asked Dharmendra Pradhan, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas about the massive fire at Baghjan oilfield in Tinsukia, Assam at a plant operated by of Oil India Limited (OIL). The questions were pertaining to effect on human capital, plans for compensation, safeguard measures, number of incidents of such gas leakage in the country and details on inquiry set up to probe into the incident.

The Ministry replied stating that about 3,000 affected families around the oilfield were evacuated to rehabilitation camps and there have been no casualty of local residents, but OIL lost 3 employees. However, local residents claim that 5 people from a village named Natun Gaon, near the gas well site, allegedly succumbed to the toxic gas-induced poison, as reported by Assamese daily Asomiya Pratidin.

Further, 2,756 families have been identified for compensation as per a committee constituted by District Administration for assessing damage of property. Further, about Re 10 crores have been deposited with the administration to pay compensation of Rs. 30,000 to 3,645 affected families.

As per National Green Tribunal’s order for interim compensation, 12 families have been identified for compensation of Rs. 25 Lakh, 57 families have been identified for Rs. 10 lakh compensation and 561 families have been identified for compensation of Rs. 2.5 lakh depending on how much damage has been caused to their houses. However, there is not definite data on whether these amounts have reached the affected families, as the case should be. The Sentinel reported that as of July 19, 11 families had received compensation of Rs. 20 lakh each. 

On the number of incidents of gas leakage and fire break out, the Ministry stated that from 2017 until August 2020, there have been 24 such incidents at refineries and 18 such incidents at oil fields/wells.

The Ministry also stated that “in most incidents of gas leakages in any pipeline, the oil & gas wells are closed immediately to prevent fire/loss of oil and gas and after carrying out leakage rectification job, operations are normalised and production is restored.” However, on June 24, Assam Pollution Control Board withdrew the closure notice served upon OIL basis an affidavit submitted by OIL “subject to certain conditions”.

On May 27, there was a blowout at one of OIL’s gas-producing wells in Tinsukia, Assam. he well was producing 100,000 standard cubic metres per day (SCMD) of gas from a depth of 3,870 metres (4,234 yards) before the blowout. On June 9, a massive fire engulfed the oil well. In general, a blowout is the uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas from an oil well or gas well after pressure control systems have failed. An accidental spark during a blowout can lead to a catastrophic oil or gas fire.

The Assam government stated on September 2 during an Assembly Session, that the fire at the oil wells could possibly continue for 2 more months.

The Parliamentary answer may be read here.

Related:

Assam Pollution Control Board withdraws closure notice served to Oil India Limited
National Green Tribunal slaps Rs. 25 crore fine on Oil India Limited for gas well blowout
Another explosion at Baghjan oil well injures three foreign experts

40+ gas leaks, fires at refineries and oil wells in 4 years: Petroleum Ministry to LS

Admission made in a response to a Parliamentary question about the Baghjan oil well leakage and fire.

Image Courtesy:ft.com

On the first day of Monsoon Session, the Lok Sabha dealt with some pertinent questions put forth by Members of the Parliament (MP). The question hour has been cancelled, which means questions will not be asked and answered orally by Ministers but only written answers will be given for each day of the session.

A total of 7 MPs, including Supriya Sule and Dr. DNV Senthilkumar, asked Dharmendra Pradhan, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas about the massive fire at Baghjan oilfield in Tinsukia, Assam at a plant operated by of Oil India Limited (OIL). The questions were pertaining to effect on human capital, plans for compensation, safeguard measures, number of incidents of such gas leakage in the country and details on inquiry set up to probe into the incident.

The Ministry replied stating that about 3,000 affected families around the oilfield were evacuated to rehabilitation camps and there have been no casualty of local residents, but OIL lost 3 employees. However, local residents claim that 5 people from a village named Natun Gaon, near the gas well site, allegedly succumbed to the toxic gas-induced poison, as reported by Assamese daily Asomiya Pratidin.

Further, 2,756 families have been identified for compensation as per a committee constituted by District Administration for assessing damage of property. Further, about Re 10 crores have been deposited with the administration to pay compensation of Rs. 30,000 to 3,645 affected families.

As per National Green Tribunal’s order for interim compensation, 12 families have been identified for compensation of Rs. 25 Lakh, 57 families have been identified for Rs. 10 lakh compensation and 561 families have been identified for compensation of Rs. 2.5 lakh depending on how much damage has been caused to their houses. However, there is not definite data on whether these amounts have reached the affected families, as the case should be. The Sentinel reported that as of July 19, 11 families had received compensation of Rs. 20 lakh each. 

On the number of incidents of gas leakage and fire break out, the Ministry stated that from 2017 until August 2020, there have been 24 such incidents at refineries and 18 such incidents at oil fields/wells.

The Ministry also stated that “in most incidents of gas leakages in any pipeline, the oil & gas wells are closed immediately to prevent fire/loss of oil and gas and after carrying out leakage rectification job, operations are normalised and production is restored.” However, on June 24, Assam Pollution Control Board withdrew the closure notice served upon OIL basis an affidavit submitted by OIL “subject to certain conditions”.

On May 27, there was a blowout at one of OIL’s gas-producing wells in Tinsukia, Assam. he well was producing 100,000 standard cubic metres per day (SCMD) of gas from a depth of 3,870 metres (4,234 yards) before the blowout. On June 9, a massive fire engulfed the oil well. In general, a blowout is the uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas from an oil well or gas well after pressure control systems have failed. An accidental spark during a blowout can lead to a catastrophic oil or gas fire.

The Assam government stated on September 2 during an Assembly Session, that the fire at the oil wells could possibly continue for 2 more months.

The Parliamentary answer may be read here.

Related:

Assam Pollution Control Board withdraws closure notice served to Oil India Limited
National Green Tribunal slaps Rs. 25 crore fine on Oil India Limited for gas well blowout
Another explosion at Baghjan oil well injures three foreign experts

Related Articles

Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Bihar Govt has worst record on Land Rights to Adivasis: Brinda Karat

Speaking at the release of a fact-finding report about the firing in Adhaura block, Brinda Karat exposed the deeds of the Bihar Govt while lauding the democratic struggle of the Kaimur’s Kharwar Adivasi communities against an oppressive forest department

Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Bihar Govt has worst record on Land Rights to Adivasis: Brinda Karat

Speaking at the release of a fact-finding report about the firing in Adhaura block, Brinda Karat exposed the deeds of the Bihar Govt while lauding the democratic struggle of the Kaimur’s Kharwar Adivasi communities against an oppressive forest department


Wednesday

14

Oct

11 am onwards

Not an Inch Back!

Main Gate KG-Campus

Friday

09

Oct

Albert Ekka Chowk, Ranchi

Monday

05

Oct

Valluvarkottam, Chennai

Theme

Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura
summer

Summer Culture

Our first summer culture bouquet features fiction from Syria and Iraq and poetry and art from Palestine.

Campaigns

Wednesday

14

Oct

11 am onwards

Not an Inch Back!

Main Gate KG-Campus

Friday

09

Oct

04 pm onwards

#IStandWithStanSwamy

Albert Ekka Chowk, Ranchi

Monday

05

Oct

Valluvarkottam, Chennai

Videos

I dissent! How a photojournalist is fighting hate

Can one be apolitical in these times of communal divide, hate and bigotry? How does one fight religious and caste prejudice? Photojournalist Vijay Pandey asks important questions in this SabrangIndia exclusive series ‘I dissent! Artists who are taking on bigotry’

I dissent! How a photojournalist is fighting hate

Can one be apolitical in these times of communal divide, hate and bigotry? How does one fight religious and caste prejudice? Photojournalist Vijay Pandey asks important questions in this SabrangIndia exclusive series ‘I dissent! Artists who are taking on bigotry’

IN FACT

Analysis

Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura
summer

Summer Culture

Our first summer culture bouquet features fiction from Syria and Iraq and poetry and art from Palestine.

Archives