IOC fire aftermath delays Cairn's Rajasthan pipeline

The fire that devastated IOC's fuel depot on 29 October 2009 destroyed a pumping station of the Mundra-Panipat pipeline at Jaipur, reducing the line capacity by one-third

The devastating fire at Indian Oil Corp's (IOC) Jaipur fuel depot has delayed commissioning of Cairn India's pipeline for transporting crude from its Rajasthan oil fields, reports PTI.

Cairn has laid a 600-km heated pipeline from Barmer to Salaya in Gujarat to transport Rajasthan crude oil to IOC's refineries but the fire on 29 October 2009 has delayed its commissioning, sources in the know said.

The pipeline was to carry Rajasthan oil to Gujarat, from where it had to be pumped into IOC's Mundra-Panipat pipeline for onward transportation to Panipat refinery in Haryana. But the fire destroyed a pumping station of the Mundra-Panipat pipeline at Jaipur, reducing the line capacity by one-third.

Sources said as Cairn crude was waxy, it turned solid at room temperature and had to be blended with normal oil in not more than 10% ratio for transportation in non-heated pipelines like Mundra-Panipat.

It was planned that 18,000 barrels of Rajasthan crude could be transported per day through the Mundra-Panipat pipeline, which has a capacity of 9 million tons a year (180,000 barrels per day).

But with the fire destroying the Jaipur pump, the pipeline capacity fell to 6.5 million tons, which meant that only 13,000 barrels of Rajasthan crude could be transported.

Cairn, however, felt that 13,000 bpd was too low a volume for safe operation of its Barmer-Salaya pipeline and pegged critical volumes at a minimum of 18,000 bpd, sources said.
 

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