Sunday, September 7, 2008

India Natural Gas Rig Closed After Fire!

An oil rig deployed by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) in Bombay High South field caught fire on Saturday afternoon due to “mechanical malfunction”. No loss of life is reported but five contractual workers were injured, an ONGC spokesperson said.
There were a total of 87 workers on the rig. The fire, which broke out at 1.50 pm, shut down a non-oil producing well, but there was no loss of production from other wells. Bombay High North and South fields together account for around half of the total oil produced in the country and around 13 per cent of the total available gas.

The rig, belonging to US-based Pride International, was drilling an exploration well in the Bombay High South, around 160 kms from the Mumbai coast. The rig was drilling a cluster of wells under the Bombay High South Redevelopment programme, which was undertaken to enhance the production.

Drilling operations have been shut due to the fire, which was extinguished within an hour, the company said. Another rig hired from US-based Pride International, Pride Hawaii is also operating in the Bombay High South Redevelopment programme and its working well, the ONGC spokesperson said.

This is not the first time there has been a fire in the Bombay High oil and gas fields. On July 27, 2005, a shipping vessel crashed on the Bombay High North platform resulting a fire that killed 11 people.

It also resulted in loss in production of 110,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, or around 16 per cent of the country’s total oil production.

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