Agitation Disrupts ONGC's Oil & Gas Production in Assam

Production of oil and gas by ONGC in Assam has been severely affected due to the 100 hours Bandh by All Assam Students Union (AASU).

ONGC produces about 1.55 MMT of oil and 467 MMSCM of gas in Assam. Due to the bandh ONGC has been forced to shut down the producing wells in all its fields in Assam starting 0500 hrs on 16th May, 2005. The fields which have been badly affected are Geleki, Lakwa, Rudrasagar where the shift crews were not permitted to go and operating crews were forcibly asked to shut down operation and move out. The local authorities expressed their inability to intervene for fear of confrontation when contacted for support by ONGC. Operations of industries in Assam which draw gas from ONGC are going to be badly affected due to the bandh.

ONGC personnel are trying frantically to convince the AASU representatives on the adverse affect of closing of wells on the reservoir and safety precautions that need to be taken. Many of ONGC wells are on artificial lift technology for production as the fields are aging and these wells can not produce on their own. These wells may never be revived when operations are resumed, thereby resulting in irrecoverable loss of production as well as revenues to the state. ONGC has requested State Government to help in maintaining normal operations, safety of personnel, installations and machinery.

ONGC is the biggest employer in the State and spends nearly Rs.150.5o Lakhs annually on various corporate social responsibility initiatives which is the highest by any corporate in Assam. Recently C&MD, ONGC had donated Rs.40 Lakhs and two ambulances towards Chief Minister Relief work.

ONGC is overstaffed specially in Assam and is under pressure to induct more people for whom there is no work.

The amount of royalty accrued/paid by ONGC to Govt. of Assam during 2003-04 was Rs.211.74 Crores. Recently, ONGC has unveiled a plan to revive and rejuvenate its assets in Assam entailing an investment of Rs.2000 Crores over a four-year period beginning this year.