THE SALAYA-MATHURA pipeline of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) ruptured and crude oil leaked out of it, spreading over around four hectare of agricultural land in Mota Thavariya village near Jamnagar city on Saturday. The breach was reported at around 10 am as a stream of oil started coming out on an agricultural field. “IOC stopped pumping of oil in the pipeline and isolated a section of 500 metre of the pipeline in which the breach was reported.
However, much oil had leaked by then and it spread over around four hectare of agricultural land belonging to four to five farmers of Mota Thavariya village,” RJ Makadia, district collector of Jamnagar, told The Sunday Express. A spokesperson at the IOC’s western region pipelines headquarters in Rajkot said their technical team had located the leakage. “After the leakage was reported, pumping was stopped in the pipeline. The leakage was located at five kilometres downstream from our pumping station in Jamnagar. Restoration work is in progress and likely to be completed in 24 hours,” said the spokesperson.
The spokesman said that the cause of the rupture had not yet been ascertained, nor did they have immediate estimate of oil that leaked. The 1,870 kilometre-long Salaya-Mathura pipeline (SMPL) off-takes crude oil from single point mooring systems at Salaya on the coast of Devbhoomi Dwarka district and pumps it to Koyali refineries in Vadodara, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and Panipat in Haryana. The mooring systems offload oil from large oil tankers which carry it from countries in the Middle East and Latina America. A large quantity of crude oil that India imports lands at Salaya and then pumped to the refineries through SMPL.
There are two parallel pipelines in the SMPL and pumping of oil was stopped in both after the leakage. “The priority is to arrest the leakage. Efforts are on to contain the spread of oil on agricultural land. Our technical team is fixing clams on the section of the pipeline which had been leaking,” the spokesperson further said. The IOC spokesman said that the pipeline which developed breach was 12 feet underground at the spot of leakage and that it was commissioned in 1999.
“The oil spread has not damaged any standing crop. In an effort to contain damage, IOC will also give special treatment to the agricultural land on which the oil has spread,” added the spokesperson. According to district collector Makadia, seven tankers had been pressed into service to suck pool of oil formed on tracts of agricultural land. “They are sucking the oil so as to prevent it from spreading further and percolating underground. A multi-disciplinary team is on the site to assess and contain damage caused to the agricultural land,” he added.