Mile long oil spill found 80 km off the Mumbai coast: ONGC

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (PTI) Around a mile long oil spill hasbeen detected from a ruptured pipeline some 80 km off theMumbai coast, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) saidtoday.

"A leakage has been detected at ONGC''s Mumbai-Uran Trunk(MUT) oil pipeline (which transports crude oil from the MumbaiHigh offshore fields) at 0845 hours this morning," ONGC saidin a statement.

Production at ONGC''s Mumbai High, the nation''s biggestoilfield, and Bassein oilfield was immediately stopped and thepipeline closed.

Output was resumed after three hours and crude oil isbeing sent to onshore through a separate line.

Mumbai High and Bassein fields together produce 247,000barrels of oil per day and the brief stoppage would mean thatthey would produce about 25,000 barrels less oil every today.

"A leak was detected and crude pumping on the linestopped... ONGC has reacted immediately to control the spill,"Oil Secretary S Sundareshan said.

ONGC said the leakage was observed 2-kms from the BPBPlatform (Bassein oil and gas field) in western offshore. Theoil and gas production from Mumbai High is being diverted tothe ICP-Heera Uran Trunk (HUT) pipeline.

The company has sent vessels to the site to ascertain theextent of leakage to contain it and repair the pipeline.

ONGC along with Coast Guard are implementing an oil spillcontingency plan to minimise damage to the environment.

"The Regional Contingency Plan (which is the existingemergency response measure) has been activated immediately ondetection of the leak," it said.

FODAG (Flag Officer Defence Advisory Group) and CoastGuard have been informed. "National Oil Spill DisasterContingency Plan is also being activated by Coast Guard toensure minimum damage to environment," the statement said.

Shares of ONGC fell after the news and were down 2.66 percent to Rs 1,104 at 1500 hours.

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