Gas leak continues at ONGC well in Tripura (Lead)

June 15th, 2011 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, June 15 (IANS) Natural gas continued to leak from an ONGC well in western Tripura Wednesday, nearly 24-hours after the leak was first detected, officials said. Experts and engineers are engaged in trying to cap the well.

According to officials of the state-owned exploration giant ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), there was no immediate danger due to the outflow of natural gas, though it contained 95 percent methane.

The leakage started late Tuesday evening while corporation personnel and engineers were engaged in maintenance work at the well at Konaban village in western Tripura, ONGC spokesman Anil Raja Vijan told IANS.

“The leakage could not be sealed so far due to high pressure,” he added.

Many senior experts and technical personnel have rushed to the spot, 40 km south of here, he said.

“A four member expert 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 morning,” Vijan said.

ONGC group general manager (GGM) 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.

“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 told IANS.

Senior Tripura government officials also visited the site.

ONGC owns significant natural gas reserves in Tripura. Since 1972, 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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