Chance discovery of oilfield in South West Garo Hills?

Drilling for water goes awry as flames burst out of the ground

AMPATI, Nov 28: A chance discovery in the village of Kendrakona under Mahendraganj PS in South West Garo Hills (SWGH) has led to excitement in the area after fire began to gush out of a hole when villagers were drilling for water for their fields.
The incident allegedly took place on Sunday afternoon with videos of the same doing rounds on social media. However, with none from the administration being able to verify the facts, a lot of questions still remain.
As per locals, the incident took place when the owner of the farmlands began drilling for water to use for paddy fields.
However, upon drilling to a depth, instead of water, fire began to come out of the hole in the ground.
The villagers immediately informed the Fire and Emergency Service (F&ES) of Mahendraganj, who rushed to the spot and quickly doused the fire. However, a type of broth began to ooze out of the same hole and continued for some time. The area was immediately cordoned off for the safety of residents and till the time of reporting no injuries or casualties have been reported.
“As we don’t have experts in our district to understand what exactly has been found, the matter has been informed to the state government for further necessary action. We don’t know if an oil dump has been hit upon and this can only be confirmed after experts visit the place and take stock,” informed South West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, G Kharmawphlang.
He, however, was not aware of the steps that the state would take on the issue.
Interestingly, oil exploration by the Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) had taken place through the same route earlier but no one is aware of why the exploration was abandoned or if they were abandoned at all.
“There are many places where after the ONGC left, people began to occupy.
This could be one of those lands and the fire, and the resulting excitement could be because of residue left behind by the company during the exploration. We are still not certain of what exactly it is and await a confirmation. The excitement will have to wait a little more for now,” informed a senior officer from the SWGH administration.
As per sources, experts are expected to arrive soon to review the situation and to understand if the chance drilling has actually led to the chance discovery of an oilfield.
Until then, the excitement is expected to continue.

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