Millennium Post

Media report on gas leak false: ONGC

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), India's national exploration and production company, on Tuesday dismissed a news item carried by one of the nation's largest circulating dailies, which claimed that the gas flow from an ONGC well on the east coast was causing considerable environmental damage. Describing the report as completely false and fabricated, ONGC assured that the so-called leakage 'is insignificant, localised within a very limited area and has not caused any environmental damage'.

The energy giant added, 'ONGC vessels have noticed normal fauna (bird and fish) activity around the area,' pointing out that gas is normally non-polluting to the marine environment.

As a measure of precaution, ONGC has informed the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Oil Industry Safety Directorate and Coast Guard and Navy about the incident.

The upstream oil and gas major has also taken some measures immediately after noticing the leakage.

The debris accumulated around the well-head production equipment has been cleared by the ROV in preparation for capping activities and the custom-made capping stack has been prepared and transported offshore.

'Due to cyclonic weather conditions on the east coast, the capping operations have been kept on temporary halt. As soon as the weather improves, the capping of the well would be taken up,' the company said.

As an alternative measure, a relief well has been planned to side-track the well G-1#9 and the equipment for the relief well has been kept ready.

No environmental damage has been caused by the leakage, said ONGC in a categorical statement.

The company expressed outrage that a newspaper with a huge readership had published such a wrong report in such a grossly irresponsible manner.

Such activities in the name of journalism can prove detrimental to India's national interests and might be used by vested interests in both the domestic and foreign private sector, warned ONGC.
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