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OIL succeeds in killing the Baghjan blowout well

Well to remain under observation for 24 hours to check if there is any gas migration and pressure build up

Picture of Baghjan Blowout well site on Sunday
By RISHU KALANTRI
Tinsukia, Nov 15: Oil India Limited (OIL) on Sunday finally achieved success in killing the blowout well at Baghjan in Assam’s Tinsukia district, almost five and a half months after the blowout occured on May 27.
The development came two hours after the “kill fluid” was pumped into the well at a depth of 3600 metres as part of the last phase of snubbing operation.

The good news comes in the evening

OIL tweeted at 5.35 pm on Sunday: “Baghjan blowout well successfully killed: The well has been killed with brine solution & under control now. Fire has been doused completely. There is no pressure in the well now & the same will be observed for 24 hours to check if there is any amount of gas migration & pressure build up.”

Talking to NewsFileonline, OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said the process to inject the kill fluid started around 11 am on Sunday and soon positive results were visible. “However, it will take few more hours before achieving cent per cent success,” he said.
“Director (exploration and development ) P Chandrasekaran, director (operations) PK Goswami and resident chief executive BK Dad visited the Baghjan well site and had detailed discussions with the experts from Alert (Damage Control)  and OIL crisis management team (CMT),” said Hazarika, adding: “Further operations to abandon the well is in progress.”

The way ahead

According to an OIL source involved with the operation, the next step would be to pull out the pipes which will be followed by cementing the well. “Once it is done and tested, the snubbing unit will be uninstalled, blowout preventer (BoP) will be removed and X-mas tree will be placed before the well is abandoned.”
In August, OIL succeeded in capping the blowout well by installing BoP on the well head after two failed attempts on July 31 and August 10.
However, the kill-the-well operation failed following detection of a leakage at the casing well head and here’s when the global experts from M/s Alert Damage Control decided to move in for snubbing operation and tied up with Alberta-based Piston Well Services to move in its snubbing unit alongwith four crew members.
The 60-ton snubbing unit was flown in from Canada’s Calgary by the world’s largest cargo aircraft — Antonov An-24, to Kolkata in the third week of October and it reached the blowout well site on November 4.
On September 13, OIL succeeded in diversion of the gas after a failed attempt and used the opportunity to start partial production from a well under blowout for the first time in OIL’s history.

What is snubbing unit and the process?

A snubbing unit is a hydraulic rig that can do everything a rig can do in addition to its ability to perform under pressure in an under balanced live well state.
Snubbing operation is a type of heavy well intervention performed on oil and gas wells. It involves running the BHA on a pipe string using a hydraulic workover rig. Unlike wireline or coiled tubing, the pipe is not spooled off a drum but made up and broken up while running in and pulling out, much like conventional drill pipe.
In oil parlance, the well is killed at the bottom by inserting pipes and pumping mud through this new pipe. Killing entails injecting artificial mud into the well at very high pressure to fill up the well and stop the gas from rising to the surface.
Due to the large rigup, it is only used for the most demanding of operations when lighter intervention techniques do not offer the strength and durability. The first snubbing unit was primarily designed to work in well control situations to “snub” drill pipe and or casing into, or out of, a well bore when conventional well killing methods could not be used. Unlike conventional drilling and completions operations, snubbing can be performed with the well still under pressure (not killed). When done so, it is called hydraulic workover. It can also be performed without having to remove the Christmas tree from the wellhead.

Baghjan gas well No 5 — India’s longest well on fire 

 
OIL has 22 producing wells, 18 oil wells and four gas wells at Baghjan Oil Field in Tinsukia district.
The “blowout” occured at the gas well No. 5 at Baghjan oilfield, in the proximity of Maguri-Motapung Beel and Dibru Saikhowa National Park, while workover operations were under way to produce gas from new sand (oil and gas bearing reservoir) at a depth of 3,729 metres. This caused natural gas and condensate oil gush to hundreds of feet in the air and spill all around.
The well caught fire on June 9 and has been raging for 160 days before finally getting doused today.