assam-gas-leak-tamed

Why in News

The flame atop the Baghjan well no. 5 in Tinsukia district of eastern Assam has been tamed, 110 days after it had a disastrous blowout.

More about Gas leak

  • Few months ago, a gas leak has occurred at Baghjan well in Tinsukia district of Assam following a blowout.
  • The Baghjan well is a purely gas-producing well in Tinsukia district, and is at an distance of 900 metersx from the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
  • It has been drilled by Oil India Limited (OIL) since 2006.
  • Natural gas is a mix of propane, methane, propylene and other gases.

Gas Leak:

Possible Reasons:

  • It may have occurred due to lack of attention, poor workmanship, bad maintenance, old age, sabotage to morpho-tectonic factors.
  • Sometimes, the disturbance of pressure balance in a well may also lead to sudden blowouts.

Impact:

  • The gas was flowing with the wind in the radius of up to 5 km and condensate (the residue from gas) was falling on bamboo, tea gardens, banana trees, betel nut trees among others.
  • While the well is outside the Eco Sensitive Zone of the park, there are reports that the condensate was falling into Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Maguri-Motapung wetland too.
  • The gas leak has also caused deaths of Gangetic dolphins, and a variety of fish. The number of birds has also decreased because they have flown away.

Places associated with this news:

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park

  • Dibru-Saikhowa is a National Park as well as a Biosphere Reserve situated in the south bank of the river Brahmaputra in Assam.
  • It is one of the 19 biodiversity hotspots in the world.
  • The forest type of Dibru-Saikhowa comprises semi-evergreen forests, deciduous forests, littoral and swamp forests and patches of wet evergreen forests.
  • It is the largest swamp forest in north-eastern India.
  • It is an identified Important Bird Area (IBA) notified by the Bombay Natural History Society. It is most famous for the rare white-winged wood ducks as well as feral horses.

Maguri-Motapung Wetland

  • Maguri Motapung Beel is less than 10 km from Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and part of the Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve.
  • The wetland derives its name from “Magur”, the local word for the catfish ‘Clariusbatrachus’.
  • It is an Important Bird Area notified by the Bombay Natural History Society