Cairn pipelines win environmental clearances

Vol 19, PW 21 (30 Jun 16) Midstream & Downstream

Despite the low oil price, Cairn India is upbeat about the prospect of selling additional oil production from its Rajasthan block RJ-ON-90/1 and gas production from its Raageshwari Deep gasfield.

Why else would Cairn have obtained environmental clearance on June 27 to increase the capacity of its 670-km oil evacuation pipeline from Barmer to Bhogat and to also lay a fresh 24-inch diameter, 194-km pipeline from the Raageshwari Deep gas field to Palanpur in Gujarat? Production at the Rajasthan block was around 175,000 b/d according to Cairn's last annual report for 2014-15, but this is expected to rise to 300,000 b/d by end-2016. Which is why Cairn wants to increase the capacity of its Barmer to Bhogat pipeline from 200,000 b/d to 300,000 b/d.

Similarly Raageswhwari Deep gas production has risen from 16m cf/d (453,000 cm/d) in 2015 to 27m cf/d (765,000 cm/d) in 2016. For this reason Cairn wants to increase planned capacity of the Raageshwari to Palanpur pipeline from 6.3m cm/d to 40m cm/d.

Cairn's proposal for both pipelines was cleared by the environment ministry's Expert Appraisal Committee on May 26, 2016. Earlier the committee had considered the proposal in a meeting from March 30 to April 2 but asked Cairn to make changes and re-submit which it did on May 9 after taking out public liability insurance as recommended.

The committee then found the report adequate and granted clearance.