Suffering production loss due to protests by locals: OIL

Guwahati, Jun 23 (PTI) Energy major Oil India Limited (OIL) on Tuesday said it is suffering production loss due to continued protests by locals that started after a gas well at Assam's Baghjan caught fire following a blowout while the blaze is still raging since May 27.

An OIL statement said that there was an output drop of 129 MT of crude oil and 0.16 MMSCM of natural gas on Monday due to disruptions in 16 oil wells and one gas well.

'Cumulative production loss since May 27 blowout due to bandhs and blockades - 8,291 MT crude oil and 10.56 MMSCM of natural gas,' it said.

The locals are protesting against the alleged slowness of administration towards their demands for compensation and rehabilitation at the earliest.

Protests outside Baghjan area in Tinsukia district is continuing in some areas, resulting in loss of output with drilling and work-over operations disrupted at six locations, the statement said.

About the ongoing process to douse the blaze, the PSU said various on-site works at the well site have been hampered due to inclement weather and soft ground condition.

'Many important equipment are on transit. Consignments are delayed on transit due to ban on day time movement of heavy vehicles. Fabrication of heat shields for bulldozer and excavator is in progress,' it said.

Surveys for assessment of damage by a committee constituted by the district administration are in progress and the same has been completed for 369 families in Doomdooma and Tinsukia circles, the statement said.

Over 9,000 people are staying in 13 relief camps after the May 27 blowout. A fire broke out at the well on June 9 killing, two firefighters of the OIL.

Two OIL staffers have been suspended for alleged negligence of duty in the gas well blowout, a company official had said.

The blaze at the well is so massive that it can be seen from a distance of more than 30 kilometres with thick black smoke going up several metres high, endangering local biodiversities in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.

The company said that various assessments and impact studies of the blowout as well as the blaze in villages and nearby forest areas are being conducted by multiple agencies such as ERM India, TERI, CSIR-NEIST and Assam Agricultural University.

The OIL had said on Sunday that most of its wells in Baghjan, which were shut due to protests by locals, have resumed operations following a meeting with a representative body of residents mediated by the Tinsukia district administration.

The operations had started between 7 pm and 8 pm on Saturday after the locals lifted their blockades of most of the oil and gas wells, it said.

Drilling and associated operations in five more areas, outside Baghjan, were still disrupted due to the agitation, it had said. PTI TR MM KJ KJ