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Government bans Iranian crude imports in Feb and March, 2015: MRPL left in the lurch

Jan 30: In a sudden turn of events, the government has banned Iranian crude imports in February and March, 2015, leaving Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) in the lurch.
 8A recently ministry letter has advised MRPL to maintain crude oil import from NIOC at the previous year FY 2013-14 levels, and as a result, offtake during February and March, 2015 has been curtailed.
 8MRPL has claimed that this sudden development will have a severe impact on its MoU target for the year and profitability as well.
 8While the company is exploring alternatives in terms of additional quantities from its term suppliers, or purchase of crude on spot basis, MRPL has argued that at such notice, these options will either not be practical or will be much more expensive.
 8To mitigate the negative impact, MRPL has sought ministry intervention to enhance their MH crude allocation by atleast 600 TMT for FY 2014-15 and advise ONGC to supply 300 TMT each for February and March, 2015.
  Details

Setting up of NDR: Halliburton begins training of DGH personnel

Jan 30: Halliburton Offshore Inc. has begun the National Data Repository (NDR) training of DGH personnel.
 
8DGH is currently in the process of setting up NDR, a world class data storage and retrieval infrastructure through web portal for all E&P data. The project is entirely funded by the government and contract awarded to Halliburton  to build, populate and operate on turnkey basis, where EIL has been appointed as PMC for the project.
 8The project commenced in March, 2014, with site preparation and architectural work completed as per schedule, and mobilization and commissioning of the hardware almost complete. Currently, the testing of the application set of software with pilot data is also under progress.
 8As per contract, Halliburton is expected to train a total of 95 persons -- 15 DGH personnel and 80 end users. About 5 DGH personnel will be trained in database and system management and another 10 on NDR (PDC & SDC) operations and maintenance, including services like data loading and other functionalities, to enable them to effectively participate in the NDR operations and activities.
 8Pertinently, the first phase of the training has been planned in Halliburton's facilities in Perth Australia to enable first hand exposure at the existing and operting NDR facilities of international standard, as well as direct accessibility to the experts for evolving world class infrastructure, facilities and services for the end users. After successful completion, 80 end users will be trained in DGH's facility in the country.
 8Notably, the NDR activities are aimed at provisioning the online data management and seamless access to E&P operators, institutions and academia. It is being established to provide oil and gas information and data for promoting and regulating E&P activities in the country's hydrocarbon sector. The project will help in implementing OALP/NELP wherein, acreages can be chosen by E&P companies on the basis of assessed prospectivity.
  Details

Stephenson Harwood vs GoI: DGH keen on out of court settlement as litigation cost mounts

Jan 30: The DGH, working on behalf of the petroleum ministry in a litigation against Cairn India Ltd., and has been slapped with a non-payment suit amounting to GBP 119,055 by London based law firm Stephenson Harwood regarding professional fees for the duration of its contract with the DGH, is keen on an out of court settlement.
 
8The DGH has claimed that in light of mounting litigation cost, hiring a new set of lawyers to deal with this issue would cost, in all probability, more than the $100,000 anticipated to settle this out of court, and hence, the stance.
 
8Pertinently, the firm was hired by the DGH to file a defense and counter charges on an arbitration by Cairn India, that contested having to pay Cess for its operations in the RJ-ON-90/1 block. 
 
8However, it was denied its fees and its contract was terminated as, for reasons not entirely clear, it did not file the counter charges before the High Court of Queen Bench in London. Its bills for the duration of the contract were refused by the DGH, which has since hired the services of Mr. M. P. Singh of Goodger's Firm (also based in London). 
 
8The regulatory body is learned to be now assessing its options, which include entering into a legal tussle against Stephenson Harwood - which would involve additional and possibly substantial expenses - or arriving at an out-of-court settlement. 
 
8Interestingly the law firm has itself written to the DGH suggesting that they arrive at a settlement, and has quoted an amount of GBP 105,000.
  Details

OIL's crude output trails target-I: Deliveries to refineries affected

Jan 30: Deliveries of Oil India Limited's (OIL's) share of crude to refineries located in the north east have been affected during the current financial year FY 2014-15, on account of sudden closure of 155 producing wells in March, 2014 due to external obstructions.
 
8Pertinently, OIL's initial plan was to supply crude volumes of 3.62 MMT during 2014-15, including to NRL. This plan was based on OIL's MoU crude production target of 3.63 MMT, including JV shares for the year. This in turn was based on the producing level of 9650 tonnes per day (that is, 3.52 MTPA) in the beginning of March, 2014, and additional drilling, workover and production enhancement efforts planned during 2014-15.
 
8However, due to the sudden closure of these 155 producing wells in March, 2014, the production level plunged by 53%, that is, from a level of 9700 TPD (3.54 MTPA) to a level of 4470 TPD (1.63 MTPA) at that point.
 
8Of course, OIL took many measures to augment production, but recouping is time consuming -- in terms of higher water-cut, non-flow and sand ingress, is time consuming
 
8Production levels in January have managed to revive to about 9450 TPD (3.45 MTPA), and despite all difficulties, OIL has been able to achieve a cumulative production of 2.582 MMT, which is 96.61% of the target uptil December, 2014.
 
8As regards NRL, against a cumulative OCC allocation of 2145 TMT, 2092 TMT of crude was supplied till December, 2014. The shortfall is about 47 TMT over a 9 month period, which is 97.8% of the agreed allocation.
  Details

OIL's crude output trails target-II: Local disturbances

Jan 30: OIL production in 2014-15 has been effected on account of local disturbances, in terms of bandhs and blockades during the year, which in turn have affected bowser movement, drilling and workover operations.
 8A flash 300 hour bandh called by student unions of upper Assam districts of Dibrugarh and Tinsukhia from March 1, 2014 onwards, over recruitment concerns, had serious consequential effect on OIL operations.
 8This bandh was the outcome of the recruitment result of unskilled work persons announced by OIL in February, 2014.
 8A number of local youths looking for employment in OIL essentially expressed their dissatisfaction over the recruitment result, causing violent acts of confrontation, paralysing OIL operations to a near halt.
 8OIL claims that the process was transparent and professionally conducted as a two stage process -- written exam through an independent agency, and interviews through representation of state employment department.
 8The company has also claimed that the district administrative authorities were informed of such eventuality, and had sought their help to resolve the issue.
 8Understandably, there were over 500 similar bandhs in Assam during the year, which in turn impacted OIL's production output for the year.
  Details

Gas pricing for D1-D3 fields: DGH seeks fresh data from RIL and GAIL

Jan 30: The DGH has sought fresh data from RIL and GAIL so that there are no holes or gaps in the implementation of the New Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014, in respect of D1 and D3 fields in the KG-D6 block.
 8The upstream regulator has asked GAIL to provide information on the amount actually collected from the gas buyers of the KG-D6 block for the months of November and December 2014 and also the details relating to payment of the royalty thereon to the government.
 8The details have not been sought on a one-off basis but on a regular basis. The DGH has asked GAIL to send similar information on a monthly basis from January 2015 onwards by the 10th of the following month.
 8It is pertinent to note that as per the New Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014, the differential between the prices worked out as per the guidelines converted to NCV basis and $4.2/mmbtu has to be paid to GAIL by the consumers directly for keeping into the Gas Pool Account maintained by the gas major.
 8A copy of the invoices raised by RIL on the consumers has to be sent to GAIL as well.
 8GAIL, in turn, will ensure that differential amount due from the consumers is credited timely to the Gas Pool Account.
 8In case of any default in payment to GAIL by the consumers, the matter shall be promptly reported to the government.
 8The companies would pay royalty on $4.2/mmbtu as is being done presently. For the balance amount, the royalty would be calculated and paid by GAIL from the Gas Pool Account on a monthly basis to the government.
 8The contractors, consumers and GAIL have been asked to maintain invoice records of all disbursements made and reconcile them periodically.
  Details

Integrated development of Vashishta and S-1 fields: Part land yet to be handed over for Odalarevu onland terminal

Jan 30: The execution of the ONGC's project for integrated development of the Vashishta (VA) and S1 fields is likely to get delayed as a part of the land earmarked for the Odalarevu onland terminal is yet to be handed over to the E&P major by the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC).
 
8Out of the total land requirement of 325.8 acres, only 247 acres have been handed over to ONGC. In other words, 78.8 acres of land is yet to be handed over by the APIIC.

 
8Under the integrated project, natural gas will be produced from the two fields in the KG offshore through four subsea wells tied back to the onshore processing facility at Odalarevu.
 
8
The proposal for development of the Vashishta (VA) and S1 fields was okayed by ONGC after proven and probable (2P) gas reserves in the S1 field, factoring in the post-drilling results of an appraisal well in the S-1 field, went up from 0.33 BCM to 11.152 BCM.
 
8
The total project has been split into four separate tendering packages, which includes offshore installation work and setting up of an onshore terminal, among others.
 
8As per the ori
ginal plan, the onshore terminal work was expected to completed by February 2016, while the offshore installation work was likely to be over by Jan-April of 2016. However, now with 78.8 acres of land yet to be handed over to ONGC, the scheduled completion might get delayed.
 
8The total cost of the project (including marine survey, consultancy, PMC, TPI and service tax) has been pegged at $751.65 million.
  Details

Enhancement of CRL in Kharsang field: DGH provides an explanation

Jan 30: The DGH has defended its action of raising the cost recovery limits (CRL) from $13.37 million to $19.32 million in the Geo Enpro-Jubilant's Kharsang block saying that this had to be done because of escalations in cost as the government delayed approvals for over five years relating to the enhancement of the CRL.
 
8
The DGH has said that this has been done in line with Article 14.4.5 (c) (i) of the PSC.
 
8
Then again, the DGH is of the view that the development cost of $34.75 million recovered in excess of the enhanced CRL of $19.32 million should be reversed. However, a development cost of $05.95 million recovered on other activities as on March 2009, should be allowed outside the CRL.
 
8
However, the contractor should modify the account accordingly and remit the government's share of profit petroleum, the DGH has said.
 
8The development cost incurred on wells subsequent to 2008-09, being in excess of the 10 CRL wells, should not not form part of the CRL.
 
8
The audited accounts of the PSC should be adopted only after the contractor incorporates the corrections in the accounts.
 
8Till the Management Committee (MC) takes a decision on this, the ministry can go ahead and recover the additional profit petroleum through the public sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), the DGH has said.
  Details

Development of G-1 and GS-15 fields: Another well to come on production by April 2015

Jan 30: One of the well -- dubbed G-1-14 (DA) -- in the G-1 field, which is part of ONGC's Rs 3,955-crore project for integrated development of G-1 and GS-15 fields, is expected to commence production by April 2015.
 
8
The well was completed, tested and put on production but after it flowed only water, ONGC decided to carry out work-over job to shut-off the flowing water.
 
8
All the 20 wells drilled under the project have been completed. Gas flow has already commenced from the well G-1-10 from November 2014 onwards. Another well G-1-11 was completed much earlier in November 2013.
 
8
Also, one substitute well -- dubbed G-1-9 -- has also been drilled and is currently under testing.
 
8
Production from the GS-15 field, which is being developed along with the G-1 field as an integrated project, had already commenced from August 2011.
 
8
The integrated project is currently running behind by more than eight years from the original scheduled completion deadline of April 2006. It is now expected to be completed by June 2015.
 
8The project initially got delayed because of slow progress and stoppage of work by the original contractor, Clough Engineering (Australia), resulting in termination of the contract. After this, a prolonged legal battle followed resulting in further delays. Work could be resumed after an out of court settlement was reached between the parties.
 
8The development of G-1 and GS-15 fields is crucial for ONGC as an incremental production of 0.98 MMT of oil and 5.92 BCM of gas in envisaged from the project.
 
8Though the approved cost of the project (in 2003) was Rs 1,262.93 crore, the cumulative delay of more than eight years over the original deadline of April 2006 has resulted in the cost going up to Rs 3,955.21 crore.
  Details

Block CB-ONN-2004/2: ONGC to submit integrated FDP for three Vadatal discoveries

Jan 30: ONGC has decided to submit an integrated Field Development Plan (FDP) for the three discoveries -- Vadatal-1, 3 and 5 -- made in the block.
 
8
The Declarations of Commerciality (DOC) of Vadatal-3 and 5 discoveries have been approved by the Management Committee (MC). An integrated FDP of Vadatal-3 and 5 discoveries, along with Vadatal-1, has been prepared and will be submitted to the DGH soon.
 
8
In the meantime, one more discovery -- dubbed Vadatal-10 -- has been made in the block. Though the results of the well Vadatal-10 have proved that the area has hydrocarbon potential, the productivity from the well is not up to the desired level because of influx of water in the well.
 
8
To prove the commerciality of the discovery and to ascertain the pool limit, ONGC has decided to drill an appraisal well.
 
8
However, as the Phase-II exploration period has come to an end on December 18, 2014, ONGC has requested the petroleum ministry to extend the exploration period by 18 months to complete the appraisal programme of the Vadatal-10 discovery.
 
8The NELP-VI block CB-ONN-2004/2 is currently owned by ONGC (operator) and GSPC with 55% and 45% stake respectively.
  Details

Differential royalty (2013-14): Arunachal and Gujarat get Rs 110 crore

Jan 30: The petroleum ministry has directed the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) to release a differential royalty of Rs 110.33 crore to Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat for FY 2013-14.
 8The ministry pays a differential royalty for all discovered onshore fields in which the royalty rates specified in the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) is less than the general royalty rate committed to the concerned state governments.
 8Of the total Rs 110.33 crore, Rs 53.90 crore is the differential royalty for the April-September, 2013, period, while the balance Rs 56.43 crore is for the October-March 2014 period. In total, Arunchal Pradesh has got Rs 58.88 crore, while Gujarat has got Rs 51.44 crore as differential royalty.
 8Even Assam is entitled to a differential royalty for the Amguri field in the state but as there was no production from the field during the year, no royalty has been paid.
 8While Gujarat gets differential royalty for a total of 16 fields, Arunchal gets differential royalty for only one field, that is, Kharsang. The 16 Gujarat fields for which the state gets differential royalty are: Asjol, Bhandut, Hazira, Cambay, Dholka, Wavel, Bakrol, Indrora, Lohar, Sanganpur, Sabarmati, Allora, Dholasan, Kanwara, North Kathana and Unawa.
 8The website carries here, for reference purposes, month-wise details of production and royalty accrued from the 17 fields during the year, along with the name of the operator.
 Click on Details for more information
  Details

News Briefs-I

Jan 30: 8ONGC seeks waiver from explosive license for storing diesel at its drill sites: ONGC has requested the petroleum ministry for a waiver from explosive license for storing diesel (HSD) at its drill sites.
 --The E&P major stores diesel (ranging from 40 KL to 80 KL in steel tanks at its drill sites) to power its rigs.
 --The explosive license for storage of HSD is issued for tanks on a specific location. But as the rigs are frequently required to be moved from one location to another, by the time as explosive licence is obtained, the rig is either ready to be moved or might have moved to its new location and the explosive licence becomes invalid.
 --Obtaining a fresh explosive licence so frequently is not possible.
 --In light of this, ONGC has sought a waiver from from explosive license for storing diesel (HSD) at its drill sites.
 
8
Jubilant Energy asks for creation of charge on its PI in block KG-OSN-2001/3: Charge created should be on PI of cost and profit petroleum receivable by the contractor, says DGH: Jubilant Jubilant Offshore Drilling Pvt. Limited (JODPL), which has a 10% stake in the GSPC's block KG-OSN-2001/3, is taking a loan of $170 million to part fund the capital expenditure requirement in the block.
 --The loan will be taken from the EXIM Bank and the Central Bank of India to meet its exploration, development and production related expenses.
 --In terms of Article 28.8 of the PSC, the government had already accorded its permission to Jubilant for raising a loan of $100 million from the EXIM Bank and another $70 million from the Central Bank of India.
 --The DGH has informed the petroleum ministry that the charge created in favour of the third party should not be other than on the Participating Interest (PI) of cost petroleum and profit petroleum receivable by the contractor concerned.
 --Also, the charge created in favour of the third party should not override the rights of the Government of India.
  Details

News Briefs-II

Jan 30:  8DGH seeks more time for submission of report on charging of gas premium for deep, ultra deep and HPHT areas: The DGH has sought additional time to submit its report on charging of a premium for gas coming out of deep, ultra deep and HPHT areas.
 --The upstream regulator wants the deadline to be extended upto February 2, 2014.
 --The finalization of report is taking time as there are still some inputs and clarifications which are to be received from the consultant.
 
8Royalty details for RIL's KG-D6 block (October 2014): RIL has paid Rs 19.1 crore as royalty from the KG-D6 block for the month of October 2014. The break-up of royalty for crude, condensate and natural gas is as under:
 --Crude oil: Rs 3.56 crore
 --Gas condensate: Rs 0.19 crore
 --Natural gas: Rs 15.35 crore.
 --The website provides here, for reference purposes, field-wise -- D-26 (MA field) and D1-D3 -- break-up of royalty calculations relating to the D-6 block.

 Click here
for detailed data
  Details

Tender Briefs

Jan 30:  8OIL floats tender for hiring of a 1400 HP onland drilling rig: OIL has floated a tender for hiring of a 1400 HP onland drilling rig package, along with crew, for its onland blocks RJ-ONN-2005/2 and KG-ONN-2004/1.
 --The scope of work also includes hiring of mud engineering, waste management, cementing, BHP, coring and core handling, wireline logging and TCP, mud logging, well testing and liner hanger services among others.
 --Interested parties can submit their EOIs within 30 days.
 Click here
for more information
 
8IOC floats tender for Acoustic Emission Testing of crude oil storage tanks at Gauridad: IOC has floated a tender for carrying out Acoutic Emission Testing (AET) of crude oil storage tanks in the Vadinar and Viramgam areas of Gauridad.
 --The last date and time of submission of bids is February 7, 2015 (upto 16:00 hrs)
 Click here for more information

 
8IOC floats tender for carrying out allied jobs in recycle gas compressor of Haldia refinery: IOC has floated a tender for carrying out various allied jobs, including replacement of dry gas seal in the recycle gas compressor of the Haldia refinery.
 --The last date and time for submission is February 6, 2015 (upto 3:30 pm)
 
Click here for more information
 
8
More tenders: Some more tenders floated by oil and gas companies are:
 --
Marine survey jobs for finished petroleum products, lubes and LPG tankers at Budge Budge and Haldia ports [IOC] Details

 --Rate contract for providing hot tapping services, Panipat Refinery [IOC]
Details

 --Rate contract for repair works of cone roof petroleum storage tanks, Kochi Refinery [BPCL]
Details

 --Supply of valves [CPCL]
Details
 --
Procurement of fully automatic hormone analyzer, Digboi Refinery [IOC] Details
  Details

Kochi LNG terminal-I: Capacity utilization at less than 5%, no improvement likely in the foreseeable future

Jan 29: The Kochi LNG terminal is beset by abysmally low capacity utilization.
 
8The first 100 km of the evacuation network through GAIL`s Kochi-Koottanad-Bangalore-Mangalore pipeline (KKBMPL) has been built but the rest of the pipeline -- stretching over 879 km of mainline and 201 km spurline -- is yet to be built as GAIL has encountered heavy opposition in laying the pipeline through Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
 
8The first 100 km stretch was built to take care of consumers with a gas offtake potential of 7.15 mmscmd but GAIL has been able to finalize agreements for supply of only 1.13 MMSCMD.
 
8Of this, only 0.32 MMSCMD is being drawn by consumers as on date.
 
8Utilization of the pipeline is less than 5% of the installed capacity.
 
8What makes matters worse is that the Kochi terminal was expanded from 2.5 to 5 MMTPA in anticipation of high demand but clearly it will be sometime before LNG offtake pick up.
 
8GAIL had in fact modified its evacuation plan from the Kochi terminal in anticipation of higher demand from the first 100 km stretch of the pipeline at an extra cost of Rs 231 crore.
 
8The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had promised to set up two 1000 MW gas based units but then now that the pipeline has been laid there is no word from the utility on when the projects are going to come up.
 
8No fresh consumers are expected to come up anytime soon along this stretch of the pipeline.
  Details

Kochi LNG terminal-II: Major customers back out

Jan 29: GAIL is now finding out to its dismay that promises are not always kept when it comes to offtake of LNG by consumers in Kerala.
8At the time of preparation of the Detailed Feasibility Report, GAIL was promised an offtake of 7.15 mmscmd of gas from the area, but was eventually supplied was just 0.32 mmscmd.
8The website carried here the details of the installed gas consumption capacity of individual consumers in the area along with the quantum of gas for which supply agreements have eventually been signed and the quantum of gas actually consumed by them. There is a big gap between capacity and consumption, it seems.
Following are the details on some of the consumers:
8BPCL; Installed capacity: 2 MMSCMD; Agreement signed: 0.40 MMSCMD; Present consumption status: 0.211 MMSCMD
8FACT-Unit I; Installed capacity: 1.44 MMSCMD; Agreement: 0.65 MMSCMD; Present status: 0.1 MMSCMD (stopped taking gas from January 10, 2014. However, recently agreed to pick up 0.1 MMSCMD)
8FACT- Unit II; Installed capacity: 0.09 MMSCMD; Not taking any gas
8BSES; Installed capacity: 3.40 MMSCMD; Not taking any gas
8HOCL; Installed capacity: 0.17 MMSCMD; Agreement: 0.067 MMSCMD; Stopped taking gas due to high price
8TCC; Installed capacity: 0.02 MMSCMD; Not taking any gas
8Nitta Gelatin; Installed capacity: 0.03 MMSCMD; Agreement: 0.0024 MMSCMD; Present consumption status: 0.003 MMSCMD
8Tata Ceramics; Installed capacity: 0.0063 MMSCMD; Agreement: 0.007 MMSCMD; Present status: 0.0065 MMSCMD
8WFB Beird; Installed capacity: 0.011 MMSCMD; Agreement: 0.007 MMSCMD; Present supply status: 0.0015 MMSCMD
8Total; Installed capacity: 7.15 MMSCMD; Agreement: 1.1334 MMSCMD; Present offtake status: 0.322 MMSCMD
  Details

Kochi LNG terminal-III: Stalemate over Kochi-Mangalore pipeline continues, no solution so far

Jan 29: The fate of Petronet LNG Ltd's Kochi terminal is intricately linked to how quickly GAIL can remove hurdles to the construction of the Rs 3000 crore Kochi-Koottanad-Bangalore-Mangalore pipeline (KKBMPL)
 
8Construction had begun in February, 2012, but work was grounded on account of severe resistance from farmers and land owners to the acquisition of land for ROU in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
 
8Line pipes as well as all line materials, worth Rs 1,200 crore, were procured and delivered at site in 2012. The laying work contracts for all sections were awarded, with a completion schedule of May, 2013.
 
8But heavy resistance meant that the pipeline could not be constructed.
 
8The problem is that these states are heavily populated and farmers usually hold small tracks of intensively cultivated land that they refuse to part for building the pipeline.
 
8Land acquisition problems have been faced in all seven districts of Kerala. These states account for a total ROU length of 508 km
 
8Clearly, people are fearful, and despite the state government's declaration that farmers will be compensated at five times the fair value of land, not much progress has been made.
 
8At stake is a lot of money. The Rs 4550 crore spent in building the LNG terminal seems to be a waste as the terminal is lying idle.
 
8Then again Rs 1200 crore of line material is lying along utilized along the entire pipeline stretch.
 
8Clearly, no immediate solution seems to be in sight.
  Details

GAIL pipeline blast-I: Company sounds alert of a similar mishap in NCR

Jan 29: In the backdrop of the recent GAIL pipeline blast, the gas major has raised an alarm of a similar potential mishap in the NCR region, as its Jamnagar-Loni pipeline passes through densely populated areas.
 
8GAIL has warned that rampant construction activities are going on dangerously close to the actual pipeline. This a recipe for a disaster in the making, GAIL has warned
 
8GAIL has recommended relocation of LPG bottling plants as well as the feeder pipelines away from the densely populated city areas and has called for urgent meetings with all stakeholders on the issue.
 
8The company raised the need for urgent relocation of the LPG bottling plants to relatively safer locations with a dedicated corridor for LPG pipeline, within a time bound period.
 
8GAIL has claimed that although they have already taken up various additional measures to ensure safe operations of the pipelines, including daily patrolling in the NCR region, but given the pace of urban growth, clearly a long term solution needs to be worked out to ensure the integrity of pipelines.
 Some of the additional measures taken by GAIL are:
 
8Pipeline operating pressure has been reduced from 35 kg/cm2 to 20-25 kg/cm2, although the designed limit is 98 kg/cm2
 
8Frequency of line walk and patrolling has been increased from once to twice in 24 hours; GPS tracking has been introduced to monitor the patrolling activity. Random patrol by GAIL engineers has been resorted to during night hours.
 
8Interval frequency of stone pipeline markers are now placed in every 200 metre interval instead of the earlier 1 km, and similarly, interval of RoU boundary markers have been narrowed from 200m to 50m.
 
8Special audit of the Jamnagar-Loni LPG pipeline (JLPL) has been conducted by the OISD in the NCR region on GAIL`s special requests. Most recommendations have been implemented, except for some of the long-term measures that require additional land acquisition.
 
8Conversions of valves to auto-closure mode is in progress.   Details

GAIL pipeline blast-II: Heavy construction seen within 2-3 metres from pipeline

Jan 29: A detailed report on the the Jamnagar-Loni LPG pipeline running through the NCR region has pointed out that heavy construction has been seen within 2-3 metres from the pipeline, which is dangerously close.
 
8In stretches of pipeline laid as per the ROU, the width available is 18-20 metres and in 60% of the length, third party construction of residential and commercial units have taken place. It is expected that the rest of the pipeline ROU too will be swamped by similar construction activity.
 
8Again, in stretches of pipeline, both temporary as well as permanent establishments have come up near the pipeline, 2-3 metres away from the pipeline.
 
8Pertinently, there has been a phenomenal upsurge in the population density as well as construction activities during the last decade all through the 72-km NCR section of the pipeline. A lot of multi-storied construction and development activities have taken place near the pipeline, in Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad areas.
 
8Further, continuous sand mining near the Yamuna river bed is also a potential threat to the pipeline. Understandably, there have been many instances of pipeline exposure due to rampant sand mining.
 
8The report has also pointed to two cases of third party damage due to construction work in the vicinity of the pipeline during the last five years.
  Details

Tamil Nadu puts hurdles in construction of IOC's LPG pipelines: Petroleum minister to intervene

Jan 29: The Tamil Nadu government's order debarring the laying of two of the Indian Oil Corproation's LPG pipelines across agricultural fields has sent sent the company into a complete tizzy.
 8The two pipelines are: Cauvery Basin Refinery (CBR) - Narimanam - Trichy product pipeline and the Ennore-Trichy-Madurai LPG pipeline.
 8The petroleum minister is likely to intervene in attempt to resolve the imbroglio.
 8Pertinently, although 45% of the CBR-Trichy pipeline had been laid by March, 2013 itself, there has been no movement since then, because work had been stopped by farmers and villagers. Later, the Tamil Nadu government too went against laying of the pipelines along farm areas.
 8As a consequence, all pre-project activities, like obtaining statutory clearances, acquisition of RoU for the Ennore-Trichy-Madurai LPG pipeline has come to a halt.
 8Based on the state government's insistence with GAIL that its gas pipeline be laid along the national highway route, IOC too had taken on a study to re-align the CBR-Trichy pipeline along the national highway. However, this was found to be unviable. In fact, the National Highway Authority of India has declined GAIL`s request to lay their pipeline along the highway.
 
8The petroleum minister is now likely to intervene in the matter and highlight the fact that laying petroleum pipelines across cultivated fields and away from inhabited areas is not only an internationally accepted and adopted practice, but over 38,000 km of liquid hydrocarbon and gas pipelines in India have already been executed based on these standards, some of which run through Tamil Nadu as well.
 
8
The argument is that only the RoU is obtained by companies for laying such pipelines, wherein ownership of land remains with the original owners who continue with their agricultural activities on their lands. What is more, adequate compensation is paid to the farmer in line with the Petroleum and Mineral Pipelines Act, 162.
 
8
Pertinently, the CBR-Trichy pipeline has been envisaged to ensure uninterrupted supply of POL products to the energy-deficient areas around Trichy and beyond.
Similarly, the Ennore-Trichy-Madurai LPG pipeline is proposed to be laid to ensure uninterrupted supply of LPG to the existing bottling plants of IOC at Chengalpet, Puducherri, Trichy and Madurai, which in turn would ensure sustained supply of commercial and domestic LPG in a large part of Tamil Nadu that is served by these bottling plants.
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