Another ONGC engineer killed in rig accident

Vol 25, PW 2 (16 Dec 21) Exploration & Production

More than a year after a 24-year-old ONGC engineer died in a tragic rig accident at the Rajahmundry asset, ONGC appears to have learned nothing.

On December 6 (2021), a 57-year old chief engineer was the latest ONGC worker to die in a tragic rig accident at the Assam asset. Dinen Konwar (CPF NO: 81423) was killed on ONGC owned drilling rig E-1400-13 when it was drilling well NGAH_SBS in Galeky village in Nazira inside the 77-sq km Mekeypore-Santak-Nazira ML.

Konwar, a resident of Ramu Gaon in Sivasagar district, was a chief engineer (drilling) and in charge of the rig. "The incident took place because the 'travelling block fell on him," an ONGC source tells this report.

A travelling block is a pulley used to raise or lower the drill string and casings into a wellbore. Critically injured, Konwar was rushed to the ONGC Hospital at Sivasagar at 2.45pm, but hospital officials declared him dead on arrival.

The accident occurred at around 1pm after the mechanical brake used by the driller failed while lifting the kelly drive before the cement plug job at the well. A kelly drive is a well-drilling device that employs a section of pipe with a polygonal outer surface connected to a rotary table.

After the brake failed, the travelling block came down suddenly and hit the rig floor and driller's console, which has analogue and digital gauges used to monitor drilling and well control. Standing near the driller's console, Konwar was hit by the travelling block.

"This is currently under investigation," confirms a source at the Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD). "We'll submit a report after our investigation."

A team from the Directorate General of Mine Safety and other ONGC officials visited the accident site. "The DGMS and OISD people have started an inquiry," adds our ONGC source.

On November 25 (2020), 24-year-old ONGC engineer Sandeep Kumar lost his life in a tragic rig accident at the Rajahmundry asset. After that, the OISD released a list of 20 recommendations on January 29 (2021), including weekly safety meetings and strict penalties for those violating health and safety rules.

None of these seems to have helped save Konwar's life.