ONGC Plugs Pipeline Leak, Resumes Output at Mumbai High

NEW DELHI (Dow Jones Newswires), Jan. 21, 2011

Oil & Natural Gas said Friday it resumed production at its oil and gas wells that were shut earlier in the day after a leakage at a crude oil pipeline off India's west coast.

Shares at the state-run explorer closed 2.6% down at INR1,105.05 following the oil leakage news, underperforming the benchmark Sensitive Index that fell 0.2%.

ONGC said the leakage at Mumbai Uran trunk oil pipeline has been stopped and the oil spill will be dispersed within 48 hours. It didn't say by when will it be able to repair the damaged pipeline.

The explorer had shut some oil and gas wells earlier Friday and diverted oil and gas from its Mumbai High field, which accounts for 70% of the company's total output, to the ICP-Heera Uran trunk pipeline.

The leak was detected at 0315 GMT at about 2 kilometers from a platform at the Bassein oil and gas field, which is about 80 kms from the Mumbai coast. The pipeline carries 212,000 barrels a day of oil.

The initial assessment is that the oil spill is about 1.0 mile long, ONGC said in a statement earlier Friday. The closure of the wells is estimated to result in a production loss of about 25,000 barrels, it said.

ONGC produced about 182 million barrels of crude oil in the year ended March 31.

Meanwhile, ONGC said it has completely diverted oil and gas from Mumbai High to the ICP-Heera Uran Trunk pipeline.

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