Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Oil ministry’s probe blames ‘collective failure’ for Gail pipeline blast

NEW DELHI: The explosion in state-run gas utility Gail's underground pipeline in Andhra, which claimed 22 lives in June, took place due to a collective failure of various agencies and it would be difficult to fix "individual culpability", the oil ministry's probe report has said.

The report, by an investigation panel under the ministry's joint secretary (refineries) Rajesh Kumar Singh, in its report said the incident took place because of "inadequate systems/approach".


The accident in the Tatipaka-Kondapalli pipeline marred Gail's incident-free run in gas transportation for some 30 years. The pipeline was built in 2001 to wheel gas from ONGC's Tatipaka fields to a power plant operated by Lanco.


Corrosion from water and condensate — a mixture of hydrocarbon liquids in gaseous form — led to leakage. As a result, a pool of condensate accumulated on the surface, which got ignited by a stove lit nearby, leading to the explosion and fire.


The report said there was "no evidence of any effort" by the Nagpur-based Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation to enforce installation of units to remove water and other liquids from the gas.


The pipeline was also audited by the Oil Industry Safety Directorate, which too did not make any observation on the presence of water or other liquids in gas. Pipelines regulator PNGRB too did not make any observation in connection to the composition of gas in its 2011 assessment.


The problem stems from the absence of any clause over quality of gas — that it should be without water or condenasate — in old agreements between producer and transporters. Gail has, since the accident, started the process of revisiting all such pacts to bring in the quality clause.


Installation of dehydration units also did not get enough focus since these are not economically viable for supplies from small fields. The report has recommended installation these units along with leak detection system after a thorough inspection of pipelines.


The report left it to Gail to complete an internal enquiry of managerial failures at different levels and fix responsibility for the lapses pointed out in its probe.



http://ift.tt/1qbDYHq and Explosives Safety Organisation,Gail’s underground pipeline in Andhra,GAIL pipeline blast


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