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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 16:00, July 29, 2005
ONGC restores 70 percent gas supplies at fire-ravaged Mumbai High
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India's biggest oil producer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on Friday restored 70 percent of gas supplies from Mumbai High fields, which had earlier dropped to 20 percent after a key oil facility was gutted in fire on Wednesday, Press Trust of India (PTI) reports.

"We have restored 7.5 million standard cubic meter (mmscmd) per day of gas supplies from today while oil output is at 150,000 barrels per day, PTI quoted a senior ONGC official as saying on Friday.

The fire, which took place on July 27, wiped away 15 percent of India's 665,000 barrels per day oil output.

The Mumbai High field produced 10.2 mmscmd of gas and 260,000 barrels of oil per day before the devastating fire at the Mumbai High North (MHN) platform, the biggest oil gathering facility in the northern part of the field.

"The entire 110,000 barrels per day of oil production from MHN is down. But we have made arrangements to supply gas by bypassing the destroyed facility," the official said.

The company hopes to restore gas supplies to normal production in a few weeks time, while 70 percent of the lost oil output is likely to be restored in four weeks.

The 15 wells that poured oil into MHN automatically shut after the fire broke out, possibly due to rupture in a gas line on collision of an offshore supply vessel with the platform.

While the platform was insured for 195 million US dollars dollar, the supply vessel, which was also gutted in the fire, was insured for 60 million US dollars. Building a new platform will cost at least 300 million US dollars.

Officials said state-run gas utility Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL-India Ltd), which markets the gas produced in Mumbai offshore, has made a pro-rata cut in supplies to customers.

Of the 384 people present at the platform, the offshore supply vessel and the nearby rig, which was also abandoned after the fire, 355 have been rescued. Eleven people are confirmed dead, while 12 are still missing. Six divers trapped in a decompression chamber of the ill-fated vessel would be rescued by tomorrow, the official said.

The Mumbai high fields, 160-km northwest of Mumbai in the Arabian sea, which produced about 682,000 barrels a day (34 million tonnes) accounting for more than half of the country's oil production, are broadly divided into two - Mumbai High North and Mumbai High South (MHS)

MHN, built in 1981, was used to separate gas and impurities from the crude oil produced from 15 wells in its vicinity, before feeding it into the Mumbai High Uran Trunk crude pipeline for taking it to shore.

Source: Xinhua

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