GAIL asks ONGC to defer shutdown of Mumbai gas field

GAIL asks ONGC to defer shutdown of Mumbai gas field

New Delhi: State-run GAIL India has asked Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to defer shutdown of its largest gas field off Mumbai to fiscal end so that power and fertilizer companies could achieve their annual targets.

ONGC plans to shutdown two production complexes at the Bassein field during January-February to hook up new facilities. The closure will lead to a fall in natural gas availability from 42 million standard cubic meters per day to 29-31 mmscmd.

GAIL, in a letter to the Petroleum Ministry, stated that it will have to cut gas supplies to power and fertilizer units by 30-55% during the field shutdown period. Fuel supplies to other users would be cut by as much as 89%.

In a separate letter, GAIL director (marketing) B.C. Tripathi said the proposed shutdown falls “in the last quarter of the financial year which will adversely affect the achievement of targets of GAIL, power and fertiliser sectors."

ONGC plans to shut BPB process complex from 1-25 January 2008, and BPA complex from 14-28 February 2008, to hook up the South Bassein field and the Vasai East field to the production system.

The shutdown of BPB facility for 24 days will reduce gas output by 13.5 million standard cubic meters per day and the 15 day closure of BPA facility to cut output by 11 mmscmd.

ONGC has invested Rs2,937 crore in additional development of the South Bassein field and another Rs1,688 crore in the Vasai East field.

Under these two major development projects, two offshore platforms, namely BCPA-2 and BCPB-2, are being installed near the existing process complexes of BPA and BPB at South Bassein field.

“These two new platforms will be bridge connected to existing BPA and BPB process complexes and during hook-up, integration and pre-commissioning, the BPA and BPB production facility will require shutdown," ONGC said in its justification of the shutdown.

ONGC officials said the additional development of South Bassein field was necessary to avoid the expected decline in production from this year onwards.

With implementation of this project, additional 20.53 billion cubic meter gas and 1.974 million tonnes additional condensate would accrue.

Accordingly, its development has been taken up by integration with existing Bassein facilities. The integrated field is expected to yield around 12,000 barrels per day of oil and associated gas from 2009-10.