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Gas leak continues at ONGC well in Tripura
Agartala, Jun 16 (IANS):
Published on 16 Jun. 2011 11:38 PM IST
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Natural gas continued to leak from an ONGC well in western Tripura Thursday, nearly two days after the leak was first detected, officials here said. Experts and engineers are on a constant battle to cap the well.
According to a spokesman of the state-owned exploration giant Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), there was no immediate hazard due to the outflow of natural gas, though it contained 95 percent methane.
“The leakage started Tuesday evening while corporation personnel and engineers were engaged in routine maintenance work at the well at Konaban village in western Tripura,” ONGC spokesman Anil Raja Vijan told IANS.
“The outflow could not be sealed so far due to high pressure of the gas,” he said, adding that many senior experts and technical personnel have been camping on the spot, 40 km south of here, to control the leakage at the earliest. “A four-member experts team from Ahmedabad arrived here Wednesday evening by a special flight to help the local engineers and experts to seal the well. We are expecting to shut the well by Thursday evening,” Vijan said.
ONGC group general manager and head of the Tripura asset K.Satyanarayana, who is the chief of ONGC crisis management wing in the northeastern state, is personally supervising the well-shutting works.
Meanwhile, Tripura State Rifles (TSR) troopers guarded the area to prevent entry of people in and around the gas drilling areas in Bishalgarh sub-division.
Many fire tenders and engines of ONGC and the Tripura government have been spraying water constantly on the leakage well to avoid fire.
“Water cannons are also ready to spray chemical mud to cap the leakage well. We need sufficient chemical mud to pump into the well to reduce the pressure of the gas,” another ONGC official said.
“We are closely supervising the situation. At the moment, there is no need of evacuating the villagers residing near the ONGC drilling areas,” Bishalgarh Sub-Divisional Magistrate Parshant Kumar Goel said after visiting the site.
Senior Tripura government officials also visited the site. The district administration has alerted the local people about the incident, requesting them not to panic.
The ONGC owns significant natural gas reserves in Tripura. Since 1972, the ONGC has drilled 150 wells in Tripura -- of these, 74, including the latest one, are yielding gas.
The oil and gas exploration company has so far invested Rs.31 billion in the state.

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