Assam: Technical glitch foils attempt to cap Baghjan well

An almost successful attempt to control the Baghjan gas well leak was foiled by a last-minute technical snag that occurred during the final well-capping operation on Monday.

Earlier in the morning, which also marked the 76th day of the Baghjan blowout, experts from the Alert Disaster Control, Singapore assisted by the crisis management team of OIL, ONGC and Schlumberger successfully managed to place the Blow Out Preventer (BOP) over the well head.

Placing the BOP successfully was quite challenging for the expert team considering its extreme heavy weight and the intense heat caused by the leaping flames of the high-pressure gas well. But the joy proved to be short-lived as one of the two bull lines connected with the athey wagon which was lifting the BOP stack snapped out from the socket due to the impact of extreme heat. As a precautionary measure, the BOP was removed from the well head and brought down.

The first attempt to cap the well made on July 31 was also unsuccessful as the athey wagon used in the operation had toppled over unable to bear the load of the BOP. After the incident, modifications were made on the design of the athey wagon.

“The BOP stack was successfully placed over the well head. While BOP stack alignment job was underway to insert the studs, one of the two bull lines connected with the athey wagon which was lifting the BOP stack came out from the socket due to impact of excessive heat. From the safety point of view and stability required for alignment of the BOP stack on the well head, experts decided to safely remove the BOP stack from the well head. Operations will resume after carrying out necessary rectification jobs,” OIL said in a statement on Monday.

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