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Rediff News  All News  » Business » ONGC set to hire floating platform for Bombay High

ONGC set to hire floating platform for Bombay High

August 05, 2005 12:57 IST

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has decided to hire a floating platform sub-sea operation from overseas to restore the functioning at its oil processing platform, Bombay High North, which was engulfed by fire last week.

ONGC sources said the Fortune 500 company would invite expression of the interest from the overseas bidders for FPSO in a week or so. The foreign majors engaged in construction of FPSO include Haliburton and Schlumberger.

Sources indicated that the FPSO would be a stop-gap arrangement as the reconstruction of Bombay High North which would take at least a couple of years.

The processing platform was commissioned in 1978 with an investment of $300 million. The company was also taking initiatives to ensure that the functioning of the offshore Bombay High would be restored even before the FPSO would be set up, sources said.

"We have already taken steps to channelise the oil, which was supposed to go to Bombay High North under normal circumstances, to the other process platform Bombay High South, which was not affected by fire, " they added.

In the next four weeks, nearly 70,000 barrels a day will be channelised to the south platform. The figure will go up to 85,000 barrels a day in six weeks.

The offshore platform has a combined processing capacity of 260,000 barrel a day consisting of 100,000 barrel at north and 160,000 at the south platforms.

The processing at the south platform went down by 15,000 barrels a day immediately after the devastating fire that gutted the north platform and killed many. Now, it has been scaled up to 150,000 barrels a day.

According to sources, ONGC would get insurance claims of $260 million -- $195 million for the north platform and $65 million for the multi-purpose support vessel Samudra Suraksha -- for the loss it incurred owing to the fire. Last week, the vessel Samudra Suraksha collided with ONGC's oil platform at Mumbai High claiming several lives.

Meanwhile, the government is planning to set up an independent inquiry committee to look into the incident. A three-member committee, headed by former ONGC chairman S K Manglik, has already been set up to probe the incident.
Kausik Datta in Mumbai