Friday, September 30, 2022

ONGC says no to RTI query that asked for docs on buried pipelines at Surat airport

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Surat: Under Section 8 (1)(d) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has decided not to share documents regarding the sour gas pipelines passing through the Surat airport. Responding to an application filed by an RTI activist for inspecting the documents with respect to shifting, culverting or encasing of the sour gas pipelines to allow the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to extend the runway at Surat airport, ONGC officials said they cannot be revealed.

No headway despite efforts since last year

The district administration held a meeting last year with officials of the pipeline division of ONGC Hazira to discuss the issue of the gas pipelines under the airport surface after the state government and AAI decided to include ONGC to figure out a way to reroute them. About six months ago, ONGC had invited expression of interest (EoI) for the safe operation of the buried pipelines. However, there has not been much advancement since.

The background

The two 36 inches and 42 inches diameter South Bassein Hazira Trunk (SBHT) were laid in 1985 and 1996 respectively, to transport sour dry natural gas from Bassein Platform A (BPA) and Bassein Platform B (BPB) offshore process platforms to onshore gas processing plant located at Hazira in Surat. About 36 million metric standard cubic meter per day (MMSCMD) of gas and 3,000 cubic metres per day (m3/day) of condensate at an operating pressure of 60-80 kilograms per square centimetre (kg/cm2) is transported.

Concerns raised because of proximity of pipelines

Because of the proximity of the Surat airport runway, which has been extended from 1,400 metres to 2,250 metres towards route of 42 inches diameter pipeline in the south-east direction in 2007 and from 2,250 metres to 2,905 metres towards route of 36 inches diameter pipeline in the north-west direction in 2015-16, ONGC had raised concerns over the safe operation of both the pipelines.

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