Supply hit as oil officers begin strike
New Delhi, January 7
Officers of 13 oil PSUs today defied court orders and went on an indefinite strike, leading to a shutdown of gas supplies from the country's largest fields and cutting of output at key refineries.
“The strike is total in all oil PSUs except Hindustan Petroleum. The strike began at 0600 hrs,” Oil Sector Officers Association (OSOA) president Amit Kumar said here.
The strike resulted in a shutdown of ONGC’s South Bassein and its satellite fields in the western offshore and privately operated Panna Mukta and Tapti fields. South Bassein produces 29 million standard cubic metres per day and Panna Mukta and Tapti another 15-16 mmscmd.
However, the uran processing plant of ONGC in Maharashtra continued to operate, receiving 12-13 mmscmd gas from Bombay High and the Neelam and Heera field.
“Gas supply pressure from ONGC fields started reducing from 0230 hrs and came to a grinding halt at 0600 hrs, forcing us to cut supplies on HVJ,” GAIL chairman UD Choubey said. “GAIL is maintaining supplies to the priority sector from the volumes already available in the pipeline,” he added.
ONGC officials, however, disputed the GAIL version, saying the company was forced to stop production after GAIL stopped taking gas supply, thereby increasing line pressure.
Notice was issued to the officers’ union of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on a contempt petition filed by the company for giving strike warning despite court restraint being in place. The Guwahati High Court restrained officers of Oil India. The Oil Sector Officers Association (OSOA) said it would not be deterred by the high court restrictions