Gas pipeline to Numaligarh delayed by two months

Vol 13, PW 8 (24 Sep 09) Midstream & Downstream

Instead of in October, the Duliajan to Numaligarh pipeline is expected to become operational no earlier than December this year.

This 194-km, 16 inch pipeline will wind southeast from Oil India’s Assam gasfields, and is meant to transport up to 1m cm/d gas to the BPCL-owned 3m t/y Numaligarh Refinery, also in Assam. PETROWATCH learns work on the project is delayed because RoU (Right of User) permission has not been granted for some sections.

On September 26 last year, Duliajan Numaligarh Pipeline (DNP), a company promoted by Numaligarh Refinery (26%), Assam Gas Company (51%) and Oil India (23%), hired Mumbai-based contractor Gammon India to lay 118-km of the 194-km pipeline stretch. Gammon was supposed to have completed the job within five months of receiving a â€کFax of Intent’ end-September last year.

But when contacted by this report, it denied it was responsible for the delay. “We would have completed the job if we had received the RoU to lay the pipeline on time,â€‌ said a source at Gammon India.

“We only received the RoU for 116-km on January 15 this year, and could not have started work without that.â€‌ Gammon is still waiting for an RoU for 2-km but says it has completed 115-km of the 118-km stretch it was supposed to work on and has already carried out â€کhydro-testing’ (checking for leaks) on 91-km of this stretch two months ago.

Gammon also says that pipe materials have not been available from DNP for the remaining 3-km stretch, delaying things further. Our source further adds that working in Assam has been a challenge for the company as the monsoons arrive earlier in those parts than in the rest of India.

“We also find it hard to arrange workers for the job,â€‌ says our source. Despite all the setbacks, Gammon claims it has done a remarkable job.

“We welded 4.5-km stretch in a single day in February,â€‌ he says, claiming it as a “world record.â€‌