Pipeline to evacuate D6 gas will be ready by December

Vol 11, PW 8 (23 Aug 07) Midstream & Downstream

Politicians in the Empowered Group of Ministers are yet to endorse the D6 pricing formula but that’s not stopping Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance’s plans for a pipeline to transport this gas to western and northern India.

Work is “in full swingâ€‌ to lay the 1324-km cross country East-West pipeline from the Gadimoga landfall point in Andhra Pradesh to Bharuch in Gujarat at an estimated cost of Rs15,000cr ($3.8bn). By this month (August) Reliance had laid 60% of the pipeline, below its target of 72%.

Reliance subsidiary, Gas Transmission and Infrastructure Company, is laying the pipeline, divided up into eight â€کspreads’. Two spreads are with Russian pipeline laying company Stroytransgaz and six are with China’s state-owned China Petroleum Pipeline.

Within this distribution of work, Reliance has sub-contracted small stretches to Indian private companies Punj Lloyd and Larsen & Toubro. Reliance’s target is to finish work by December this year by completing 1% of the project every week.

This is unlikely given the project is three months behind schedule. “All efforts will be made to complete the pipeline by December,â€‌ says an industry source, “but if it does not happen there will be a three-month delay.

â€‌ Late receipt of work visas for 1800 Chinese personnel that China Petroleum Pipeline wanted to bring to India is partly to blame. “There is no delay now but the initial shortfall has not been made up,â€‌ we are told.

Most of the pipes are of Chinese origin and the entire quantity required has reached the designated assembly points. “Work is going on simultaneously at different locations,â€‌ we hear.

Along the entire route, the pipeline will be 48-inch diameter, designed to initially transport 40m cm/d gas exclusive of 33% extra capacity, in line with the oil ministry’s guidelines for common carrier gas pipelines. Reliance can later increase pipeline capacity by adding more compressors.

“But when the distance between two compressors along the pipeline falls to 150-km,â€‌ says an analyst, “it makes more sense to lay a parallel line instead of adding more compressors.â€‌

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