Q. Why is this in news now?
A. 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.
Q. What was this 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 a distance of 900 meters 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.
Q. What might be possible reasons for this leak?
- 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.
Q. What was its 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 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 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 ‘Clarius batrachus’.
- It is an Important Bird Area notified by the Bombay Natural History Society