The arrival of three experts from Singapore-based Alert Disaster Control to control the blowout at a natural gas well in Assam’s Tinsukia district was delayed owing to formalities related to Covid-19 pandemic.
The well located at Baghjan, operated by Oil India Limited (OIL), witnessed a blowout, uncontrolled release of natural gas or oil when pressure systems fail, on May 27. The natural gas and condensate matter kept flowing from it ‘uncontrollably’ for the tenth consecutive day on Friday.
After failing to plug the flow, OIL had sought services of a Singapore-based firm. The team that was expected to arrive on Wednesday has not landed in Assam yet.
“Singapore-based firm, Alert Disaster Control, will reach Duliajan (Assam) late evening on June 7. The delay in their arrival is due to COVID-related clearances at Singapore,” OIL said in a statement on Friday.
In an email to OIL, the firm informed that the civil aviation authority of Singapore has issued a one-time ‘exceptional clearance’ for a charter aircraft from India to land and take off from Singapore on June 7.
Meanwhile, OIL has decided to provide Rs 30,000 each to the nearly 2,000 families near the well who were evacuated and are staying at four relief camps since the blowout started.
“Our families are spending time at relief camps since May 27. We hope that the experts reach the site soon and control the blowout so that we can resume our normal lives,” said Madhav Moran, a resident of Baghjan.
Read More: 10 days on, Assam gas well blowout still ‘uncontrolled’, Singapore experts yet to