L&T damages ONGC pipeline to Kalol oilfield

Vol 20, PW 7 (15 Dec 16) Exploration & Production

ONGC might be well-advised to emulate Gujarat Gas and start holding 'utility coordination meetings' so other companies know exactly where its underground pipelines are located! On December 9, ONGC filed a criminal complaint with Gandhinagar Police after Larsen & Toubro damaged an oil pipeline from ONGC's ageing Kalol field while digging to lay a fibre optic cable.

"This incident will severely hit production for many months," an enraged ONGC source tells this report. L&T, he claims, failed to get permission before digging up the service road in question.

"L&T is a very professional company," he adds. "I am extremely surprised it did not inform us." L&T allegedly damaged the pipeline in the evening of December 8 while digging near ONGC's Well Stimulation Services HQ on the highway at Saij village in the Kalol area of Gandhinagar district, about 12-km from ONGC's Ahmedabad headquarters.

This pipeline connects the Kalol group gathering stations to the central tank farm. Because of the rupture, oil gushed out and formed a large lake, leading local authorities to close the road.

In the aftermath, ONGC lost 4200 barrels (600 tonnes) of oil: around 700 barrels leaked from the ruptured pipe and another 3500 barrels was lost after several flowing wells had to be closed. Oil flow through the 12-inch diameter North Kalol and 8-inch diameter South Kalol pipelines was stopped immediately to avoid further spillage.

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